One-time dictator, Mr. Ibrahim Babangida, got a scathing reply on his threat to quit the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), if the party shuns zoning - he should quit or accept the party’s decision. Media and Publicity Committee head of the Goodluck Jonathan Presidential Campaign, Mr. Sully Abu,said: “The Goodluck/Sambo Presidential Campaign Organisation sympathises with IBB’s predicament. Having lost to Atiku in their so-called consensus arrangement, he must have been thrown into confusion and desperation at the prospects of impending political oblivion.
“Clutching at the straw of zoning seems attractive to a drowning man. But regional jingoism is unsuited for a man who once held the highest office in the land. IBB should learn to live with his changing political fortune and not further diminish himself by playing games which only political novices should play. If he wants to go to another party, he does not need to blackmail anyone to do so. He should just go. The PDP has taken a decision on zoning and rotation; IBB can either live with it or leave the party.”
He denied IBB’s claim that the Federal High Court, Abuja, had ruled that zoning and rotation in the PDP should be enforced by the National Chairman of the party.
Abu said while accepting that zoning and rotation exist in the PDP constitution, the judge declared that the provision was too vague to be enforceable.
He said: “The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the PDP had already taken the same position as that of the Federal High Court Judge.
“There is, therefore, nothing new to enforce. While zoning and rotation remain cardinal principles of the PDP, they by no means prevent any person, from any part of the country, to contest.”
Gen. Babangida on Tuesday threatened to leave the PDP with his supporters, if the party fails to implement its policy on rotation of political offices. Implementing zoning the way Gen. Babangida sees it will leave President Jonathan out of the race.
In a letter to the National Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, seeking what he called the enforcement of the court judgment, which says “zoning is binding”, Gen. Babangida said: “If the party has become so helpless in the face of these gross violations of its own constitution by its officers and its highest elected representative, then many of us shall have no alternative but to reconsider our continued membership of the party.”
He called on the leadership of the party to “enforce its constitution in its totality in the forthcoming election. To do otherwise is to condone this attempt at a gross and deliberate violation of the constitution of the party.”