The sharp division among the 36 state governors over which region should produce the president in 2023 and the clamour over zoning shows the failure of Nigerian political parties, elder statesman and a former secretary general of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Anthony Sani, has said.
According to Sani, though he shares the sentiments of the Northern Governors Forum that they are not opposed to a president of southern extraction, especially if the process of his emergence is through constitutionally democracy, he is worried that a situation where governors of the same political parties are diametrically opposed to each other calls into question the roles of political parties in our multiparty democracy.
“Multiparty democracy allows political parties to represent distinctive methods of addressing national challenges as contained in the party manifesto used for canvassing for the needed electoral mandate for execution.
“And this is because there is national consensus without the corresponding national consensus on methods of solution.
“And because the constitution does not make it possible for the North or the South to use its votes alone to produce the president, but the two regions must come together to provide the needed spread of garnering at least 25% of the votes in each of two thirds of the 36 states, one expects the political parties to design their winning game plans that would meet the two requirements of majority votes and spread in 24 states,” Sani said during an exclusive chat with LEADERSHIP Sunday.
That way out, Sani said the political parties can break barriers and build bridges in furtherance of the unity of the country.
“But in a situation where the governors ignore positions of their political parties on issues of national importance and align with their regions calls into question the relevance of political parties in our multiparty democracy.
“I therefore appeal to the governors to jettison politics of identity in favour of politics of real issues of real concerns to real people using political parties as the veritable platforms for such,” Sani said, adding that politics of identity is capable of promoting cleavages of the Nigerian nation along ethnic, religious, regional and even gender or generational lines. Political parties should count in our multiparty democracy,” he added.