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2019: Do We Need National Elections in Nigeria?

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

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Nigeria could save a lot of money by limiting 2019 presidential elections to the north. The INEC 2019 budget could be cut in half and billions put back into other development projects.

Mr. Aluko is compiling the list of the presidential candidates for PDP and 100% of the potential candidates are from the north. The reason is that the party has zoned the presidency to the north.

He has not bothered to compile the list for APC presidential candidates for reasons best known to him (perhaps in an attempt to protect Buhari by giving the impression that he has no challengers from his party).

Assuming that Mr. Aluko’s list is correct, it makes sense that the voting should be limited to the north only, where the next president MUST come from.

The south would accept whoever is sent down by the important northern voters. In the next cycle the vote should be limited to the south where the president must be selected.

Since there is no monolithic south the voting could be restricted to either east or west- for even greater savings.

This situation illustrates the danger of zoning and rotation of the presidency.

It means that the best available president will never be elected at any time for talent is randomly distributed and such a candidate may not necessarily be from the part of the country that has the rights to present the president.

The desire to zone the presidency arose because parties want to be seen as involving all segments of the country. Zoning is not capable of accomplishing this feat.

The maturity of our leaders would do so. If people with the same political set of beliefs come together in a party, they are likely to come from the east, west, north and south.

The party will present their best candidate to compete with the best candidates from the other parties. Sometimes the candidates could be all southerners or northerners but they got there by random choices, not by artificial zoning.

Zoning acerbates the divisions in the country. Potential candidates, in other to win, must carter to their zones in order to emerge as the zone’s choice rather than curt the votes of all Nigerians.

Since Muslims are the majority in the north the most Islamic of the candidates will have the affection of the north.

And in the south dominated by Christians the most ideological Christian would be favored in the south.

The net effect will be that the religious, ethnic, and other differences will be in full display as candidates vie for the highest office in the land.

Nigerians, Ronu o.

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba, Boston, Massachusetts

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