Former Chairman of the Special Presidential Panel for the Recovery of Public Property, Okoi Obono-Obla, has said that zoning the 2023 presidential ticket to the South East will help to heal the wounds and scars left behind by the Nigeria tragic civil war.
Obono-Obla, who was also a former co-Secretary Joint Inter Party Merger Committee that negotiated the merger of opposition parties to form the APC in 2013, said the South East and the South-South regions deserve his sympathy because they feel marginalized.
The former National Deputy Secretary of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Secretary CPC merger Committee and National Legal Adviser of CPC between 2009 and 2010, said that the old eastern region which is part of South-South and southeast should be carried along so that they will feel a sense of belonging.
Asked where he would prefer the presidency be zoned in 2023 and why, he said that though he does not believe in zoning because it was supercial, it would be fair to zone the presidential ticket to either Southeast or South-South to heal the scars of the civil war.
He noted that Nigeria was divided into three regions from 1945 to 1966 (the Northern, Western and Eastern regions) before the Mid- Western Region (present Edo and Delta States) was created from Western Region in 1963), adding that it was the basis upon which the independence of Nigeria was negotiated by Nigerian nationalists with the British colonialists.
According to him, “This is an intriguing question. I think the South East and the South-South regions to an extent deserve my sympathy because they feel marginalized. The old eastern region which is part of South-South and southeast should be carried along so that they will feel a sense of belonging. You know the country was founded on three tripods namely Western, Eastern, and Northern Nigeria.
“I believe conceding the presidency to the old Eastern Region (or South-South) will probably heal the wounds and scars left behind by the tragic civil war that was fought between 1967 to 1970. The civil war ended on the 15th of January 1970. It is now 50 years; enough time for us to forgive, forget and move on.
“Nigeria was divided into three regions from 1945 to 1966 namely, Northern, Western and Eastern Regions (however, note that Mid Western Region (present Edo and Delta States) was created from Western Region in 1963).
“It was the basis upon which the independence of Nigeria was negotiated by Nigerian nationalists with the British colonialists. Two conferences were held in London in 1956 and 1959 respectively to negotiate the constitutional foundation for independence in Nigeria.
“But politics is not morality. It is a not rational thing. It is warfare in the true sense of the word. If you want power you go for it. Nobody can dash your power. So those from these regions that are yearning for the presidency should constructively engage their brethren from other regions and convince them with a superior argument why power should be conceded to them.
“This concession should be through dialogue and persuasion. It cannot be through threats, insult, and blackmail. But honestly, I don’t believe in zoning as a concept. It is too superficial.”