- Category: Politics
- Published on Thursday, 09 December 2010 07:43
- Written by Tribune
- Hits: 951
FORMER military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, has said that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has no option but to stick to the principle of zoning as enunciated in its constitution, the court having ruled in that direction.
Babangida, who bared his mind on the issue for the first time through a strongly worded memo he sent to the national chairman of the PDP, Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo, said even President Goodluck Jonathan was bound by the zoning principle in the PDP, a reason he said the president should obey the constitution of his party.
Babangida, in the memo to the national chairman of the PDP, said in the event of failure by the PDP to abide by zoning, the party would have proved that it was no respecter of its own constitution, and then no law-abiding member should trust the party on any issue again.
Babangida said that he would re-consider his membership of the PDP on the basis that the party has not been at liberty to obey its own rule.
Babangida accused the party chieftains and its top elected representatives of violating its constitution repeatedly, a reason he said only a few members had confidence in it.
He averred: “If the party has been so helpless in the face of this gross violation of its constitution, by its officers and its highest elected representatives, then many of us shall have no alternative but to re-consider our continued membership of the party.”
Against this background, Babangida called on the PDP to enforce its constitution in totality as it prepares for the next general election, insisting that its failure to do so would amount to condoning deliberate gross violation of the constitution by its members.
Babangida said the gross violation of the PDP constitution by its officials meant that the party could always give way to some extraneous interests at the expense of interest of members and that the party was now opposed to the creation of socio-political conditions conducive to natural peace and unity by ensuring equitable distribution of opportunities among members.
He said the turn of events in the PDP could also mean that the party had jettisoned the principle of power rotation among the component units of Nigeria, and hence had portrayed itself as a party not to be trusted.
Babangida rapped the PDP national chairman reminding him that he came to power on the strength of power rotation, a reason he said the PDP, which he was heading, could not afford to dump the idea of zoning and power rotation as enshrined in the PDP constitution and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Babangida’s memo to Nwodo reads: “As you are well aware, some controversies have, for sometime now, arisen over the decision to jettison the principle of zoning as enshrined in the constitution of the party. It is my view, and that, I believe, is the view of many public-spirited, patriotic and responsible members of our party that to do so would violate the provisions of section 7.2(c) of the constitution of the Peoples Democratic Party which provides as follows:
“In pursuance of the principles of equity, justice and fairness, the party shall adhere to the policy of rotation and zoning of party and public elective offices and it shall be enforced by the appropriate executive committee at all levels.”
The above section is amplified by Paragraph 2(c) of the preamble to the said constitution which provides that:
To create socio-political conditions conducive to natural peace and unity by ensuring fair and equitable distribution of resources and opportunities, to conform with the principles of power shift and power sharing by rotating key political offices amongst the diverse people of our country and devolving powers equitably between the federal, state and local governments in the spirit of federation.”