The Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has described the zoning of political offices as a barrier to political equality, advising that the idea be abandoned in favour of competence.
El-Rufai offered his thoughts in a prologue titled, ‘Defeating a Determined Incumbent – The Nigerian Experience’, which he contributed to a book – Power of Possibilities and Politics of Change in Nigeria – written by the Director-General of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, Salihu Lukman.
Ahead of the 2023 elections, there are already talks about the South producing the next president, with President Muhammadu Buhari from the North currently serving his second term.
Some key political offices at state levels are also rotated among the various ethnic groups or zones.
He said, “Even with our success in the 2015 elections, there is room for improvement. Barriers to political equality, such as our seemingly entrenched though informal rule for zoning candidacies according to regions of origin, need to be de-emphasised and ultimately abandoned in favour of an emphasis on qualification, competence and character.
“The financing of parties, candidates and campaigns remains opaque.
“Many African countries are marked by savage inequalities, and a handful of individuals have the wherewithal to hold the process hostage.
“We must work towards funding parties via capped and fully disclosed donations and annual dues payable by every registered party member.”