opinionBy Emeka Chimezie
Why should an obvious issue be the bone of contention in Nigeria all the time, leading to the jettisoning of government duties that are crucial to the common man? What is happening today is like the proverbial saying: "A house is on fire and the head of the home is pursuing a rat!" Today, while hardship has become the companion of the masses, when President Goodluck Jonathan should be handing out some of that luck he seems to have in abundance to the people, zoning or no zoning has become the order of the day.
It seems that those clamouring that the presidency was zoned to them do not understand the Constitution of Nigeria, which is clear on the relationship of the President and his vice. The day Yar'Adua and Jonathan were elected into office, two of them became joint owners of the term. Therefore, the present regime of Jonathan is that of the duo. Though the President is the one to appoint his vice, once sworn in, however, he (the President) cannot sack his vice. The reason is that the term now belongs jointly to the two.
So if Jonathan goes for another term, it will be assumed that he is going for a second term, which he (Jonathan) still shares with the late Yar'Adua. If Goodluck refuses to go for another term, then the Yar'Adua/Jonathan term will cease.
It is my opinion that the Peoples Democratic Party made a mistake when it decided on zoning, in the first place. Or, if it chose to insist on zoning, it should have stated that both the presidency and the vice should be zoned to one region. This is because once sworn in, the term of president and his vice, whether for four or eight years, belongs jointly to both of them. Jonathan has all the right to pursue what properly belongs to him.
Come to think of it, who told the Northern PDP that the party would win the 2011 election even? By their noise level and cry of foul play, they are telling us the PDP will always win elections in Nigeria, not taking the electorate into consideration. They are making it clear that once you are running on the platform of PDP, you will automatically win the election. What if the PDP decides today to sustain the zoning formula and another party that fielded a Southerner wins the election? Is it not possible in Nigeria, I pray thee?