21st June, 2011
The recent political brouhaha over the new speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, invariably indicates that the South West region is now politically marginalised at the National Assembly. Though many thought Hon. Mulikat Adeola from Oyo State, a PDP member, would have been the new speaker, if all the Yoruba politicians were in one accord irrespective of their various political parties. But the PDP zoning arrangement was thwarted by the powers that be in all ramifications.
The new 7th National Assembly consists of politicians elected through transparent and credible elections which the wishes of the people fully represented. There wasnâ€™t any large-scale imposition of candidates in the last April elections.Although the South West politicians have contributed immensely in developing the political structure of the country over the years through Obafemi Awolowo and others, most of these politicians betrayed the mandate and the PDP zoning formular. The Yorubas massively voted for Jonathan to sustain the power equation and they believe that he was God sent but the reverse.
It is appalling that the PDP zoning formular is only working on the pages of Nigerian newspapers while the real politics is being played by the opportunists who felt power could be captured at all costs. It serves as a big lesson to Yoruba leaders and opposition parties who betrayed themselves in recent times. If the Tinubu of ACN could capture PDP from the South West, then the zoning structure of the country would have been a benefit to the Yoruba people.
Come to think of it, former president and chairman, PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Obasanjoâ€™s position is not as challenging as the position of National chairman of PDP. Since Jonathan has called for unity government, then the Yorubas must work in accord with the president. Though PDP zoning was maimed by the then president which invariably gave opportunity for the south-south to produce the president, the problem at hand should be carefully treated to avoid another tsunamic conflagration in the country.
The Southwest must not be treated with disdain. Jonathan means well for Nigerians but some political elements want to destroy the unity of the country and feel that the government does not have anything to offer the region.
Well the PDP chairmanship slot should be given to the southwest even though the new cabinet might constitute more of the Yorubas.The zoning arrangement will unite Nigeria. The civil war of 1967 has taught the country a great lesson so there should no more political fisticuffs. As the leadership of Jonathan progresses, some changes would be made in time to come, so the Yorubas must be vigilant.
â€¢Godday Odidi is a public commentator in Lagos