From Charles Akpeji, Jalingo
A SENATOR representing Taraba State in the National Assembly, Alhassan Aisha Jumai, has said that for the nation’s democracy to grow and deliver the desired fruits, zoning of political offices must, as a matter of urgency, be stopped.
According to her, rather than agitating for zoning, politicians should allow for free and fair democracy to reign as this would go a long way to discourage many anti-democracy decisions such as imposition of candidates on the people.
Jumai who is the chairperson of the National Assembly Forum from Taraba State spoke with journalists yesterday in her residence along the Presidential Lodge in Jalingo.
He said: “Zoning of any political position is unconstitutional. I have never in my life be in favour of zoning because zoning is meant to restrict the right of individual as entrenched in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Jumai, whom The Guardian learnt is a member of the Senate Committee on Women Affairs, Housing and Special Duties, expressed belief that the roadmap to fruitful Nigerian democracy is for the people to be given the leverage to elect their choice of leaders.
“Why I insist that the people should be allowed to chose their leaders, people that are to govern them, people that are to lead them, is because it is when you are elected by people that you appreciate the people. That is when you feel committed to them, that is what will make you feel you have to do something to them in return for the mandate they gave you.”
Stressing the need to entrench “free and fair democracy in our political system”, the senator said: “Once our people elect us, we are committed to them, we listen to them, they can as well advise us on what they want and they can advise us on how to go about it.”
Reacting to the rumours that the governorship position, ahead of 2015, had been zoned to the southern geo-political zone Taraba State by the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Jumai noted that the collective decision of the people could not be taken by only the governor.
“The governor of Taraba State is not the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the governor of Taraba State is not the constitution of the PDP and the governor of Taraba State is not the only stakeholder that should decide on what goes to where.”
For such a decision to be arrived at, the governor, according to her, “ought to bring all parties together to agree and not to sit alone and try to impose that decision on the people.”
For the needed development to be achieved, all stakeholders in the state, she said, must be carried along irrespective of political parties and religious differences.
“The problems facing our state are quite enormous and therefore require concerted efforts, action and unity by the stakeholders to restore hope, confidence and dignity to the people. People should be allowed to chose their leaders from wherever, provided they are good people that can bring development to the state and the country.”
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