– 2023: Zoning Unconstitutional, Says Senator AdamuTHISDAYLIVE – THISDAY Newspapers
*Wants FG, states to protect herdsmen
*Says herdsmen are free to move around
A member of the National Assembly, Senator Abdullahi Adamu has faulted calls being made in some quarters for the zoning of the Presidency to the South come 2023 saying there is no provision for zoning in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended).
He also canvassed for the free movement of herdsmen across the country while urging both the federal and state governments to provide adequate security for herdsmen nationwide.
The former governor of Nasarawa state who made this disclosure on Monday while speaking with newsmen declared that “the Constitution says you can only become a President through the ballot box. No where in Nigerian constitution that I have says we should zone any office. There is federal character, that is the Constitution.
According to him: “The Constitution is being reviewed. If you want to review and you want a provision, specific, that presidential office to be zoned in such a manner you tell us how you want it zoned. You can’t just wish away a situation that is fundamental to the life of a country.
“You can’t talk of merit and talk of zoning. The issue of rotation, let’s just go by merit. Let every party find a way of selling itself in a manner as to garner the kind of vote to deliver the presidential result. It is as simple as that. It is government of the people, by the people and for the people. Why do you want to change it. It is wishful thinking only. We are not being practical”.
Commenting on the division between Northern and Southern politicians, the ranking Senator said it is a pity that there is such conflict and division, adding that the division did not start with current set of politicians.
He traced the division to over a century ago saying “It started from amalgamation, there had been discontent, there had been disagreement between our politicians. Right through to independence period, there had been disagreement between Northern and Southern leaders. This is not new.
“So every part of this country, there are some characteristics that are unique. But in spite of that, when it comes to national level, we have a way of aggregating our differences. It is my hope that there will be better understanding, it is my hope that between the Northern and Southern politicians, there will be better understanding and that is why the media is having a very unique role.”
On the ban on open grazing by some Southern states, Adamu tasked the federal and state governments to protect herdsmen in the country.
Stressing that the three tiers of government have not been able to proffer measures that will cushion the pains of herdsmen, he lamented that there’s no provision of basic amenities to modernize cattle rearing in the country, adding that “every Nigerian has the right to free movement.”
Commenting on recent remarks by some Northern state governors in support of the clamour to ban open grazing, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture said, “that a governor in the North says yes to ban on open grazing does not take away the right of Nigerians to freedom of movement.”
On the recurring clashes between herders and farmers, the legislator stated emphatically that, “I believe that farmers have a right to protect their farms against infringements. And animals invading farmlands is an infringement on farmers rights.”
He also urged Nigerians to congratulate themselves for being alive to celebrate the 61st independence anniversary of Nigeria which is due by October 1.
Emphasizing the need to evaluate the country based on increase in the number of infrastructures since 1960, Adamu debunked claims that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) government at the centre has failed to deliver on its election promises.
He said: “Buhari’s has not failed because the problem of insecurity can only be minimized not eradicated,”
Adamu was, however, quick to trace the history of insecurity in the country beyond the present administration.