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2023: ‘Zoning Should Be Based On Competence Not Ethnicity’

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Ahead of the general election in 2023, political parties have been warned not to allow the agitation for zoning impede the emergence of competent candidates.

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A veteran journalist, Mr. Tony Oyatedor in a chat with newsmen in Lagos said the country is bereft of good leadership, noting that the next president must have the capacity and the competence to take Nigeria out of the woods.

Oyatedor, who is an author of the best-selling book “Leadership” and commentator on Religious and Global affairs, who specialises on African affairs in general and Nigeria in particular also called for an end to insurgency, banditry and the general insecurity confronting Nigeria.

According to him, Nigeria can only conduct election in an atmosphere of peace where the security of voters is guaranteed.

But as the debate over which zone should produce the President heats up, Oyatedor reiterated that Nigeria needs competent candidates and not those produced on zoning. He also said certificate must be de-emphasized in choosing candidates for the forthcoming elections.

He said, “So zoning in Nigeria, you can zone all you want but if you are zoning just for zoning, then you are not getting result. If the next President can be zoned from the north, can you bring someone who is competent, somebody who is going to work for the good of the people of Nigeria or just to enjoy that office and serve that ethnic area that he is from?

“Now if you are going to do that, that is not zoning. Zoning, you can zone but bring somebody from that zone which is a competent person and he is there to work for the good of all Nigerians regardless of any ethnicity.

“So competence is not about certificate. Competence is can you do the work that was given to you at a certain time. Most of the billionaires today are not graduates. Elon musk was born in South Africa, he is the richest man in the world today. He has only high school diploma and talent.

“So, Nigeria must stop pushing this certificate agenda, that is you have all the youths roaming the streets, they say no job, why will have job when you can’t read and write? Nobody anywhere in the world that will graduate and don’t get a job.”
On insecurity, Oyatedor asked Nigerian leaders to apologise to the youths for failing them. He said no amount of investment in weapons would completely end the insurgency, saying the government must change tactics.

“You can buy weapons, investment in weapon till eternity, you will get more of the same that you have been getting. So why don’t you try and change course? Humble yourselves; tell the youths of Nigeria that you are sorry, that you have misled them for decades and you do much better in the future and they will drop their weapons.

“Then we want peace in Nigeria because Nigeria is the strength of Africa. Look at what is happening in Ethiopia, and the Tigray region, brothers and sisters killing themselves for nothing but because of arrogance of leadership.

“So President Muhammed Buhari, Prof. Osibanjo, General Yakubu Gowon, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan, all of you must collectively come out and say to the youths we are sorry.”

Reuters