An All Progressives Congress Chieftain, Chief Bisi Akande, has described President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s administration as afailure over his shoddy handling of the security situation in the country.
Akande made this remark during an interview with journalists at Protea Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, southwest Nigeria, on Tuesday.
The former Osun State governor while reflecting on the 16 years of PDP’s rule, described Jonathan as the worst President in the history of Nigeria, adding that Nigerians will not miss him because he is not leaving behind worthy legacies.
“Jonathan is the worst President Nigeria has ever had. When we go to bed in the night we are not sure what would happen in the morning, whether one is going to be carried away by kidnappers or assassins.
“I didn’t see any transformation agenda. If you want me to go anywhere now I am afraid. No security. As a President, if you cannot handle security you’re a failure. Nigerians ruled him out,” he said.
Speaking on the zoning of the offices of Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives, he emphasised that there is no zoning in the constitution of the All Progressives Congress, adding that is the trade mark of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Akande said the party will not indulge in the politics of zoning at a time it is taking over power from a delinquent PDP administration.
He averred that zoning bred a prodigal National Assembly under the PDP leadership, assuring that the incoming APC government will like to maintain a clean break from the sordid past by producing a Senate President that will preside over the National Assembly in accordance with the vision, policy and doctrine of the party.
He maintained that the battle for the Senate President will not tear the APC apart, assuring that the party will resolve the in-house contest without creating any animosity that can be exploited by the PDP.
“Zoning is very strange to my party. There is no zoning in our constitution and we don’t want to copy the PDP in anything we are doing. We want to be very weary and careful about things. We have the best of brains and culture among our leadership. And we want to give Nigeria the best. Because of that, we don’t want it to become part of our culture at the beginning.
“It is true that, after the elections, the national chairman wanted to toy with the idea of zoning and unanimously, we said no. We don’t want to zone. We are taking over from a delinquent administration and one of the most prodigal institutions of that administration is the National Assembly. I used the word prodigal because, according to the governor of the Central Bank, the recurrent expenditure of the National Assembly was N10 billion at the beginning. But, it rose to about N150 billion and the clamour in the country is that their personal income is prohibitive and in secrecy. So, all these created, may be, the scramble for the leadership of the National Assembly.
“We don’t want our party to be involved in the prodigal nature of the National Assembly. To prune it down, we need to do a lot of compromising and sacrificing and we need to select among the leaders of the party who are members of the Senate that will be able to control the culture of the National Assembly according to the policies of our party. So, because of that, we want to be cautious about zoning. We unanimously agreed that we didn’t want to zone.
“We want the leaders to use their experience to manage those who are aspiring to occupy those positions; six for the party in power-Senate President, Deputy Senate President, Senate Majority Leader, Deputy Senate Majority Leader, Chief Whip and Deputy Chief Whip; and four for the opposition-Senate Minority Leader, Deputy Minority Leader, Minority Whip and Deputy Minority Whip. These are the principal officers of the Senate. We don’t want those who will trade off the principal offices to the opposition.
“The principal officers could be sold out unwittingly to the opposition. So, we want to be very careful and we want to manage those who are interested. So, we don’t talk about zoning in our party. It was raised, but people rejected it.”
Akande said that zoning could throw up certain challenges if adopted, explaining that there may not be a common ground on its elements.
He said the likelihood exists that while some members of the party may push for zoning based on ethnicity, others may opt for zoning based on religion.
“Everybody is free to fight for the position. I want the best man to occupy the position. The trouble we have is that some people are asking for zoning and we are asking questions. Is it zoning according to nationalities? If yes, within the Northcentral alone, there are many nationalities. Not one, not two, two three, not four. Is it zoning according to religion? So, we want to be very careful. We don’t introduce into our system what has not been there before.
“During the period of Shagari, Ekwueme was the Vice President. He is a Christian. Ume-Ezeoke was the Speaker of the House of Representatives. He was a Christian. They are both from the Southeast. Vice President Sambo is from the Northwest. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, is from the Northwest. So, it can happen.
“We don’t want to say choose on the basis of being Christian, Muslim, Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa. Otherwise, we won’t be able to get the best in terms of appointment. That is why we have not sat to zone it to anywhere. We are trying to manage those who are vying for it so that the best man will get there. Compromises would have to be made and sacrifices would be welcome,” he said.