2023 elections: Why we must abandon zoning in favour of competence, El-Rufai says

By Umar Salam.

Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has called for the abolishment of zoning of political offices in Nigeria.

According to El-Rufai, our informal rule of zoning political offices based on regions of origin was a barrier to political equality, and should be de-emphasised and abandoned in favour of qualification, competence and character.

The governor made the disclosure in a prologue titled, ‘Defeating a Determined Incumbent – The Nigerian Experience’, which he contributed to a book – Power of Possibilities and Politics of Change in Nigeria – written by the Director-General of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, Salihu Lukman.

He said: “Even with our success in the 2015 elections, there is room for improvement. Barriers to political equality, such as our seemingly entrenched though informal rule for zoning candidacies according to regions of origin, need to be de-emphasised and ultimately abandoned in favour of an emphasis on qualification, competence and character.

“The financing of parties, candidates and campaigns remains opaque.

“Many African countries are marked by savage inequalities, and a handful of individuals have the wherewithal to hold the process hostage.

“We must work towards funding parties via capped and fully disclosed donations and annual dues payable by every registered party member.”

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