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POLITICAL SCIENCE

ZONING POLICY AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF DEMOCRACY IN NIGERIA

ZONING POLICY AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF DEMOCRACY IN NIGERIA

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ZONING POLICY AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF DEMOCRACY IN NIGERIA

CHAPITRE ONE

1.1 Background of The Study

The zoning strategy has produced a lot of political instability in the country due to disagreements among politicians, yet it nevertheless contributes to the development of democracy. A recent feature in the economists highlighted Nigeria's zoning system, which is used to swap authority between the country's north and south.

In the words of economists, “candidates are picked alternatively from north and south behind closed doors and presented to voters in rigged polls” . Since its independence 50 years ago,

Nigeria has not realised its full potential as the African giant. Public services are almost non-existent across the country, corruption is rampant, and democracy in the traditional sense is not practiced.

For many decades, presidential politics in Nigeria has been plagued by ethnic or tribal politics, religious intolerance, and, more recently, electoral malpractices. Well-meaning and patriotic elements in the polity have wrestled with the idea of the best formula to ensure peace and stability in the country.

Historically, the highest political post in the land has been dominated by northern extradition citizens. This was made possible by following military governments whose leadership styles did not allow for democratic contraception.

The zoning system was designed to give northern and southern Nigeria an equal chance of producing the president throughout the course of an eight-year presidential cycle.

The zoning formula was first implemented by the second civilian administration of Alhaji Shehu Shagari and Dr. Alex Ekwueme in 1979. However, during the first quarter of President Shagari's second term, the military led by General Buhari truncated the regime, making the plan unavailable to southern Nigerians.

The zoning formula had been forgotten for the past ten years, beginning with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo's civilian regime 1999-2007, and the administrations of Shehu Musa Yar'dua and president Goodluck Jonathan 2007 to president, when the (PDP) Peoples Democratic Party began dangling the carrot of presidential zoning between the southern and northern sections of the country.

Advocates of presidential zoning frequently cite peace and stability as the primary reason for the policy, but Nigerians must seriously consider how zoning both presidential and gubernatorial elections has brought peace and stability (development),

and whether zoning or quotas can produce the best leadership material suitable for development, which is desperately needed at this critical time.

According to professor J.T Nwabueze, the zoning and rotation strategy is part of a democratic culture that promotes fair play. He went on to add that it challenges the negative inclination and tendency of a group of to stay in office for as long as possible and exploit the nation's resources to serve their limited and practical interests.

It also serves as an antidote to a practice that breeds nepotism, corruption, and inefficiency, all of which stifle growth and sustainable development. Ifedi Andi Okwenna, 2009,

also believes that allowing power to systematically circulate between the various zones will not only increase the political space, but will also produce capable leaders capable of transforming our country and propelling it to greater heights.

The rotation principles based on zoning also strengthen loyalty to the nation because they would guarantee access to the highest office of the land to all sections of the polity, but these cannot be realised unless zoning and rotation make fairness, equity, and social justice the cardinal principles in which it is practiced.

Zones must arrive as equals and take their turns based on equity, understanding that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander. At our sociopolitical level, every patriotic Nigerian desires a country where things work. Zoning and rotation, if properly applied, will result in a better Nigeria.

However, there may come a moment when these considerations will be less important in our political decisions, when we will begin to care more about merit than ethic or sectional background.

But this may have to wait until Nigeria becomes a nation state, bound by something greater than our own brand of “brotherhood,” at which point rotation and term limits may be judged outdated. S. Huntington (1996).

Currently, the majority of Nigerians support zoning and rotation. Whatever conflicting expressions are visible on the political horizon are matters of personal opinion, which is permissible in a democracy. We, the Eastern Leaders Forum, endorse the notion of zoning and rotation because it is important to the long-term political growth of democracy in Nigeria.

Barrister Demaki.O believes that the notion of zoning is not expressly mentioned in the federal republic of Nigeria's 1999 constitution. However, it is reflected in another principle known as federal characters, which is enshrined in section 13(3) and (4) of the constitution and states that:

“The composition of the government of the federation, or any of its agencies, and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the ‘need to promote national unity,

and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring t For example, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is unquestionably Nigeria's largest and dominant party.

Any unsolved issue in the PDP, on the other hand, may have a rippling effect on Nigeria's political landscape, which is why zoning and rotation are really written in the PDP constitution. Article 7.2 of the PDP constitution states:

“In pursuance of the principle of equity, justice, and fairness, the party shall adhere to the policy of rotation and zoning of party and public elective offices, and it shall be enforced by the approximately executive committee at all levels.”

The contested issue here is rotation and zoning, but in order to understand the principle of the PDP constitution, it is necessary to understand what a zone represents. • Report of the Zoning Committee (1994/95).

The committee recognised that in a country like Nigeria, with its diverse political, cultural, and economic endowments, true federalism must reflect a genuine attempt to regulate among the groups, as well as a reflection of these discernible divergences within a framework of national unity.

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