BY NONYE JULIET EKWENUGO
The Niger Delta Youth Congress (NDYC) has warned that the National Assembly principal offices should not be subjected to regional zoning.
In a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Isreal Uwejeyan said “we advocate that the members of the National Assembly are not children, hence they should be left to exercise their autonomy in selecting their own leaders”.
“We contend that the esteemed members of the National Assembly possess the necessary wisdom and maturity to make informed choices regarding leadership. They are well-equipped to identify capable leaders who can effectively address the challenges facing our nation. By granting them the independence to choose their leaders, we foster an environment that encourages independent thinking and political growth”.
“The practice of regional zoning imposes unnecessary limitations and perpetuates division within the National Assembly. It stifles the diversity of thought and restricts the assembly’s ability to elect leaders based on merit, competence, and vision. Removing regional barriers allows for a broader pool of qualified candidates and harnesses the wealth of talent that exists nationwide”.
The Coordinator further said “our objective is to cultivate a merit-based leadership selection process that promotes national unity and fosters inclusivity. Leadership positions should be earned based on qualifications, experience, and proven track records, rather than being predetermined by regional considerations. Such a meritocratic approach strengthens our democratic institutions and nurtures a sense of unity”.
According to the group, zoning of the Senate presidency may end up creating more problems than it solves.
“For one, it can result in a situation where the most qualified candidate is excluded simply because they do not come from the region or ethnic group that the position has been zoned to. This could lead to a leadership vacuum and contribute to the underdevelopment of the Senate and the country at large.
“Moreover, zoning is a divisive concept that has the potential to stoke ethnic and regional tensions. It creates a sense of entitlement among certain groups who feel that they are entitled to certain positions, regardless of their qualifications or suitability for the job. This could lead to resentment and friction among different groups, and ultimately undermine national unity and cohesion”.
“The NDYC calls for the National Assembly to transcend parochial interests by abandoning the practice of regional zoning. By doing so, members can prioritize the greater good and work collectively towards the advancement of our nation. This shift will foster an environment of cooperation, enabling robust debate and the emergence of consensus-driven, well-rounded leadership.
“NDYC strongly advocates for the elimination of regional zoning for the principal office within the National Assembly. We firmly believe that the mature members of the assembly are capable of selecting their leaders based on merit, competence, and a commitment to national unity. Embracing an autonomous leadership selection process will pave the way for a more inclusive, progressive, and prosperous future for our great nation”.