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Date Published: 05/18/10

Jonathan Must Respect PDP Zoning Arrangement By Lami Yusuf


I read with shock and surprise from some of our national dailies on 13 th May 2010 the ridiculous and mischievous interpretation some political scavengers under the umbrella of “United Nigeria Forum, UNF” have given to the BBC interview Atiku Abubakar granted on the 6 th May 2010.

The masses of this country are not uncritical of information. They are capable of differentiating between truth and falsehood.

The “United Nigeria Forum” cleverly picked some issues raised on the interview to malign the former Vice President for selfish reasons. Who is deceiving who?

For the sake of clarity, here are the key issues raised in that interview:

BBC:               But how effective do you think President Goodluck Jonathan is likely to be, there are also some challenges facing Nigeria at the moment?

Atiku:             Indeed, there are a lot challenges facing Nigeria at the moment but the most important challenge facing Nigeria is the stability of our democracy and the deepening of the democratic institutions that have been built.

BBC:               Do you think he would have to choose a VP from the North?

Atiku:             Obviously yes, to have a political balance and equilibrium in the country. It has always been like that. Power has always been shared between the North and the South in one form or the other.

BBC:               Now the informal agreement has always been that a President from the North serves two-terms and then the President from the South two-terms. But President Yar’Adua only had half-a-term

Atiku:             Well, yes, I am aware of that agreement, I was a party to it, it exists and I expect the party will implement that policy and if the party decides not to implement it then, it will also have to meet and review it.

BBC:              When you say implement it, you mean in terms of the 2010 election because President Goodluck Jonathan of-cause is from the South. Does that mean if they implement the policy, so does that mean a different candidate from the North would have to stand?

Atiku:             That is the understanding definitely.

BBC:               So, if he did say, he was going to stand, would that cause political upheaval in Nigeria?

Atiku:             I know it is bound to cause some political instability and that is what we don’t want at this point in time. Because we want to stabilize our democracy, we want to stabilize our polity so that we can develop.

BBC:               Now, what sort of President does Nigeria need at the moment?

Atiku:             We need a strong President, we need a credible President. We need a President who has the vision and ambition to steer Nigeria and leave a solid foundation for economic growth for unity and stability of the country.

After reading the unwarranted outburst from “UNF”, I asked myself; do they really care for the peaceful coexistence, stability and development of this country? If they truly do, why resort to diversionary tactics and dancing to the gallery instead of facing the stark reality that is threatening to tear us apart as a nation? Why the attempt to tinker with the gentlemen agreement that has brought us a semblance of peace and stability in our polity? Besides, was it not the same unconstitutional and undocumented PDP zoning formula as they now see it that brought President Goodluck Jonathan to power in the first place as Vice President to a President of Northern extraction?

What is so sinister about Atiku Abubakar’s responses to warrant that outburst that is typical of hired character assassins?

We face a moral crisis in this country and the hottest place in hell they say is reserved for people who keep quiet in the face of a moral crisis.

Atiku is not the issue. The issue is the PDP zoning policy and the need to uphold it. President Jonathan must respect party policies. We must do away with hypocrisy, betrayal and treachery.

The former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has once again proven beyond reasonable doubt to be that courageous leader the country truly deserves. His ability to damn the consequences and speak up in the face of a serious moral crisis at all times has remained one of his sterling leadership qualities.


Lami Yusuf

NEPA Rd. Gwarinpa Estate,



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