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Posted by BISIRIYU OLAOYE on 2004/09/12 | Views: 749 |

Petrol to cost N70/litre

SEN. Jonathan Tunde Ogbeha has said zoning of the leadership position would deny the country good leaders.

SEN. Jonathan Tunde Ogbeha has said zoning of the leadership position would deny the country good leaders.

Stating this in an interview with Daily Champion, Senator Ogbeha (Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Kogi West) said the leadership position should not be based on ethnic or religious consideration but should be on merit or what such person can offer.

Ogbeha, who was the military Governor of the old Bendel State, was also the Chairman, Senate Committee on Water Resources and member, Presidential Committee on Local Government Reforms.

"You see, zoning has its advantages. When you talk about zoning, you will end up not bringing out your best. We are still within the Senate, the Senate President is zoned and definitely, we are not seeing our best.

"You may talk about ability but I do hope we would grow out of this quagmire where you want to say because of political stability, this post must go to this area. I want to see a situation where Nigeria will do things based on merit.

"You want to choose the President because he is qualified and he merits it not because of where he comes from. That is what makes America great. In America, the President and his Vice can come from the same area. It doesnít matter once you are qualified.

"I want to see that happen and that is why as long as we orientate our state, let us try and do away with ethnicity and also religion because they are very complicated.

"Zoning is ethnicity, whether you like it or not and it has spectators or regions too. I want to see us as brothers. Some people are voting because candidate A is coming from the North or the South. It shouldnít be on that basis and the basis of our election should be whether that man can deliver the goods," Ogbeha further stated.

He, however, believed that leadership of the country should go round all the zones.

that "every Nigerian who is qualified to serve should be free to stand elections."

Senator Ogbeha said he did not want a situation where a region or zone would continue to dominate the leadership of the country.

"First and foremost, it should go round and when it goes round, everybody should be given equal opportunity to run that job if you want to.

"Nobody should be excluded and that brings the issue of zoning. I think zoning in the Nigerian context, was made expedient and to solve an emergent problem, expediency of time. That is what zoning is.

"Because if you do not zone, you make mistake. For instance, there are some states if you donít apply the principle of zoning some particular areas will never take the leadership of that state. And that will be sad," he added.

He said there is good understanding now between the executive and the legislature as against friction and political bickering witnessed in the Upper House between 1999 and 2003.

The two-term Senator said: "We started in 1999 with high hope, but we got bogged down with leadership crises in the Senate. What we have now is one party politics where the majority of members are PDP and they are forming a line with PDP policies and this has given way for a very healthy relationship."

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