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2023: Catholic Bishop Says Zoning Presidency To South-East Shows Democracy Has Failed



Archbishop Emeritus of Catholic Diocese of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan (Source: The Herald)

Archbishop Emeritus of Catholic Diocese of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan says zoning of the 2023 presidency to the South-East or any other geopolitical would amount to admittance that democracy has failed.

The Herald reports that he added that zoning was not the solution to Nigeria’s problems.

Onaiyekan stated this in an interview published by Sunday Punch.

According to him, people only ask for zoning after realising that the rules of the game were rigged against them.

The respected cleric advocated greater inclusivity in the national policy to promote unity and end agitation to zoning.

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Reacting to calls for the 2023 presidency to be zoned to the South-East, Onaiyekan said, “My view is that zoning it to the South-East or anywhere is not the solution.

“Zoning-as a way of ensuring a sense of belonging of every part of Nigeria – is hardly a democratic way of doing things.

“If we end up with zoning, it is simply an admission that we have failed in democracy; that we have organised our democratic process in such a way that some people have been clearly excluded.

“Can we rearrange our democratic system in such a way that nobody will be excluded? When you find people asking for zoning, it is because they know that the way the rules are now, there is no way we can get anywhere.

“Can we change the rules so that everybody will be on the same page and on an equal basis? And if we cannot, then people will begin to insist that ‘it is about time you gave us a chance to rule’ and once we start zoning, it will never end.

“If the South-East wants zoning today, the next time it is going to be South-West, North-East, North-West, and so on.

“And at the end of the day, we will begin to ask if we are looking for a situation where we elect the best person to be president.”


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