By Kelvin Ololo And Patrick Obia
A legal practitioner, Barrister Gabriel Iki, has disagreed with the position of the All Progressives Congress APC, in Cross River state that it was PDP that introduced zoning into Cross River politics and APC was not bound to continue with it.
The state spokesperson of APC, Mr. Bassey Ita, had earlier described zoning as unconstitutional and said in APC, the people reserve their right to elect a leader from anywhere they want at any given time.
The duo were speaking as guests on flagship political program, “The Dialogue With Agba Jalingo” on Hit 95.9FM in Calabar on Sunday.
According to Iki, “The practise on ground is that; it is the turn of the Northern Senatorial district to produce a Governor to complete their four years, to make up the second tenure.”
Barrister Iki, maintained that for equity and fairness, zoning should be practised irrespective of political party.
He traced the antecedence saying that “the system had favored two senatorial districts which are the Southern and Central districts and now is the turn of the Northern Senatorial district to complete their remaining four years.”
He however said that zoning is for the sake of peace, proper political progress, and proper advancement in politics.
Speaking on leadership performance, Barrister Gabriel, agreed that zoning has nothing to do with leadership performance.
His words “Zoning promotes political peace while the performance of a governor is determined on his determination to do what the party manifestoe provides.”
The Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Cross River State, Mr. Bassey Ita who joined the radio program on phone, agreed with Barrister Iki that zoning doesn’t count in having quality leadership, arguing that “the present administration lacks continuity especially in areas of hospitality and tourism.
He said his party will not recognize zoning in the State because it is unconstituional.
“In my party (APC) power belongs to the people and they have the mandate to select their leaders.
“Zoning is not enshrined in the Constitution of Nigeria. It was introduced in the State by the former Governor Donald Duke, who passed it on to Senator Liyel Imoke and to Senator Benedict Ayade, all of the same political party, the Peoples Democratic Party”.
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