- Category: Politics
- Published on Wednesday, 01 September 2010 06:55
- Written by The Nation
- Hits: 1999
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan is qualified to run in next year’s general elections, the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) said Tuesday. The group warned against the zoning of the presidency, saying the hard line posture of certain politicians on the contentious issue could hamper the country’s unity.
Its President, Maj. Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo, told reporters in Lagos that the zoning arrangement in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) did not envisage the current political realities.
Accompanied by the group’s new National Secretary, Chief Idowu Sofola (SAN) and National Publicity Secretary, Chief Oluyemi Falade, Gen. Adebayo said: "It is difficult to make adjustment to the challenges imposed by the zoning method which did not envisage the death of former President Umaru Yar’Adua.
‘In our opinion, we believe President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice-President Namadi Sambo should be free to contest in 2011. We believe this will strengthen the solidarity of the North and South, both politically and economically. The question of zoning should not be a do-or-die affair, since we all want a united Nigeria that can be better in Africa and the world".
The elderstatesman advised politicians to engage in acts that could foster national unity , instead of dividing the country through their scramble for the presidency.
He said since zoning did not envisage the death of the former president, "the question now is, should the (zoning) arrangement of the PDP be stuck to, or brought in line with the present realities".
Gen. Adebayo lamented that the country had been polarised by the protagonists and antagonists of zoning , which, in the first instance, is a party affair.
He called for a return to parliamentary system to reduce the tension and huge cost of governance.
‘We also need to reduce the number of political parties to three or four and they should not be funded by the government. The number of ministers and advisers should also be pruned. Wages and salaries of the legislators and members of the executive across the three tiers should also be reduced’, Adebayo added.