PDP zoning: OBJ, Nwodo must resign now –David-West
From Henry Chukwurah, Port Harcourt

Wednesday,
August
18,
2010

president Olusegun Obasanjo
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Former president Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo have
been told to resign their respective positions as Peoples Democratic
Party (PDP) Board of Trustees Chairman and the National Chairman
respectively, following the recent decision of the party’s
National Executive committee (NEC) on zoning.


Professor Tam David-West called for their immediate resignation in an interview with Daily Sun in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, during
which he also insisted that any Northerner who emerged as President
on PDP platform could only rule for four years. Said he: “Both
of them lied to party members, the country and the world about PDP
constitution. First, Obasanjo said zoning never existed in PDP.
Nwodo said zoning is dead.


Then, I told (Nwodo), ‘you are contradicting Obasanjo because only living things can die; non-living things can’t die. Obasanjo
said zoning, does not exist, you said it is dead.’

“Both of them lied. Now, the NEC has confirmed this. Nwodo who said zoning was dead, is Chairman of the NEC that said, ‘No,
we are not jettisoning it’. So, he also lied. These two people
have no honour to stay there. They must resign immediately for lying.
They lied because zoning is in their constitution.


“Another reason they should resign is, if they cannot understand their party’s constitution, why would Nigerians entrust them
with the constitution of Nigeria? They should honourably resign
if they have honour and shame.”

Drawing from the decisions of the NEC, he said by retaining zoning and making the Presidential race open to all its qualified members,
the PDP played smart on President Goodluck Jonathan.


“What they gave him with one hand, they took with another hand. He is free to contest because he is a Nigerian and the Nigerian
Constitution says if you are qualified, you are free to run. PDP
in their constitution say there is zoning. So, zoning is PDP matter.
It is not in the Nigerian Constitution.

“What the NEC is saying now and which the Northern Governors Forum had said, is that if you must contest, you either leave PDP
or make PDP to change that section of their constitution. This is
not good for Jonathan because though you are free to contest, you
must be nominated by the party.

“As people say, except your family puts the crown on your head, the community will not say you are king. Kings are not made
by the community, kings are made by the royal family. Except the
royal family puts the crown on you, the community does not recognize
you. Jonathan is free to contest but zoning exists in PDP.”

Also, David-West punctured the reasoning in some quarters that Jonathan could run on the Yar’Adua/Jonathan ticket, insisting that
the ticket died with the late President.


“To say that the President can still run on Yar’Adua/Jonathan ticket is wrong. He cannot. The Yar’Adua/Jonathan ticket died
after Yar’Adua died. That is the truth because the constitution
says that the President will choose a running mate who shall be
the Vice President. Not the other way round.

“Jonathan’s relevance was contiguous to and contingent on Yar’Adua being President because without Yar’Adua
Presidency, there is no Jonathan. That was why they used the nebulous,
controversial doctrine of expediency to make him first, acting president
and later, president. So, that ticket died with Yar’Adua.


In other places and even in America, relevance of the vice president is contiguous and contingent on the president. Things which are
mutually exclusive cannot exist together.”

David-West reiterated his earlier warning that the zoning issue if not well handled, could escalate into a national problem.
“I have said it before and others have said it that if this zoning problem is not well handled, PDP will have problem. The problem
within PDP will boil over to the general society and I said, that
is how the civil war started. From We tie in Ibadan to civil war.


“It is like the body. When one part of the body is sick, the whole of the body is sick. Zoning was a dangerous and unnecessary
controversy.”

He said that it would be “immoral, dishonest and dangerous” for the PDP to dump zoning at this stage because of Yar’Adua’s
death.

“Yar’Adua’s death should not be celebrated with jettisoning zoning section in their constitution. I give a metaphor.
I am owing you N100. I signed a contract with you that I owe you
N100 and my son signed as a co-signatory to that contract. I paid
you N50, then I died. You are entitled to N50 from my son. It is
a contract. It is so with zoning.


“The PDP signed a contract with the North stating eight years for the South, eight years for the North. Obasanjo has used eight
years of the South. It is now eight years of the North also sponsored
by Obasanjo. Yar’Adua’s death did not affect the debt
the PDP still owes the North and that is four more years as President.”

He reasoned that whereas any northerner who emerged as President from any other party was free to rule for eight years, a Northern
President on PDP platform should only rule for four years to off-set
the party’s outstanding debt to the North, arising from Yar’Adua’s
death.

“The PDP is bound by its debt to the North. PDP owes the North four years of presidency only. The North cannot claim more debt
than the PDP owes them. That will be fraud.


“The North will have no leg to stand because a Northern candidate of PDP for 2011 will not be coming there as a virgin. He is coming
there to complete the debt owed the North by the PDP. So, after
the debt is paid, PDP does not owe the North any money”.

David-West also faulted the common practice of equating PDP with the country, pointing out that, “if there was any free and
fair election in Nigeria, PDP wouldn’t have won.”


He was optimistic that the ruling party, “will have shock in 2011.”
In a veiled reference to Jonathan’s position as the nation’s first highly educated leader, David-West urged that Nigerians should
begin to demand leadership track records of their potential leaders:
“Nigerians should now talk about credentials because you cannot
just wake up and say you want to be President. What are your track
records? So, however qualified with all the degrees in the world,
national service is stewardship, not degree.”

“Nigerians must insist, and rightly so, in 2011. Show us your credentials, your stewardship in national service. You vote on that.
Jimmy Carter has two PhDs. He has PhD Nuclear Physics, PhD in Bio-Chemistry.
That’s the most brilliant scholar America ever got as President
but was he the best President? Degrees are not important, they are
not sine qua non. Government is responsibility and focus, not degree.”


David-West debunked alleged domination of the country’s leadership by the North.
“North does not dominate anybody. Let me repeat for the umpteenth time, the strength of the North is the weakness of the South. There
cannot be any Northern President without the support of the South
and vice versa.

“The difference between the North from the South is only two States. Tell me how the Northern man can be President of Nigeria
without Southern support or vice versa. So, if the South allows
North to be President all the time, it is a Southern weakness. Don’t
blame the North.”

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