This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Akwa Ibom 2015 - Forget Zoning, Speaker Tells Indigenes

As the battle for the 2015 governorship election continues to generate heat in Akwa Ibom State, Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Samuel Ikon, Tuesday called on indigenes of the state to abandon the politics of zoning or rotation of power if the state must unite and move forward.

The people of Eket Senatorial district of the state are strongly agitating for power shift to their area, but the Speaker in a declaration for the first time on the controversial zoning of the governorship seat in the state, said he was not a fan of zoning and would not support it.

"I am a fan of effectiveness, efficiency and capacity because today in this state, the governor has come to show that even if somebody is not from your state, he can still touch your life.

"At the federal level, we have a president that is from the South-south, what have you seen that is so special about the South-south. So it is not a function of where somebody comes from. You must leave primordial issues, it does not make sense.

"If we want the state to move forward, let us look at efficiency, effectiveness and capacity. Who has the capacity to deliver, that is the issue not a tarnished arrangement," the Speaker stressed.

Ikon insisted that since he was part of the positive transformation in the state, he hates to see it stalemated because of zoning to a particular area somebody who has no idea was elected into the office.

"For me that is my stake. Whoever will do a job because Governor Godswill Akpabio has shown us that the governor does not need to come from my village. He has come here and distributed developmental infrastructure evenly spread. That is what we should look at.

"In advanced democracies like the United State, you don't need to come from Akwa Ibom State to be governor of Akwa Ibom. What you need is constitutional requirement. We have seen two brothers being governors simultaneously father and son being presidents. That is what we should look at.

"That is my thinking, it might not be popular; but I think for the interest of the state and country, we should look at effectiveness, efficiency and capacity of anybody who wants to administer the state and country," the Speaker insisted.

According to him, the issue of zoning is fanning the ember of division, saying the state must rise against it.

"We have these presidents from the South, starting from former President Olusequn Obasanjo, and now the current President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and I ask what has been that very significant different that you can say we have. It enforces more the reason we should thrown away those things.

"This thing can quietly be assigned. It does not have to be put on a table as mean of negotiation, or amplify and use as basic of division at the end the centre suffer," he maintained.

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