Former Vice President and serial Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has again voiced that there is nothing like ‘zoning’ in the nation’s constitution.
Nigeria’s presidency typically rotates between a predominantly Muslim north and a predominantly Christian south, based off a gentleman’s agreement often reached within the dominant political parties.
Atiku has all but told everyone who cares to listen that he is throwing his hat into the presidential ring in 2023 for the umpteenth time, even though by the principle of zoning, he shouldn’t be contesting since Muhammadu Buhari, a Fulani Muslim like Atiku, would just be completing his constitutionally permissible two-terms of eight years on the saddle in 2023.
However, Atiku says zoning is as unconstitutional as they come.
“Fundamentally, the constitution says all of us can run,” Atiku told a group urging him to run for President come 2023.
“The constitution has not barred any one of us. There is no zoning in the constitution; there is none.
“I was a member of the constituent assembly that drafted the current constitution and there was nothing like that,” he added.
The ex-vice president also said he’s never seen his country subsumed in these many challenges and problems.
“This country has so many challenges at the same time. So, sometimes, when I am on my bed, I begin to wonder whether to go for it (contest) or not because the challenges are just too many. In my life, I have never seen Nigeria in such a bad situation.
“As far as the unity of this country is concerned, we are more divided.
“Even when we fought the civil war, we were never as divided as this. We never had a breakdown of law and order like this because when we fought the civil war, it was confined to a particular location, in every other place, there was peace.
“We never had this kind of poverty where even the farmer cannot go to farm the food to eat, not to talk of commercial farming.
“So, I have never seen this country so bad, and it is going to be a daunting task for anybody to come and turn things around,” he said.
75-year-old Atiku was the presidential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general elections.