Former Kano State Governor, Ibrahim Shekarau, on Monday said there is nothing wrong if a Nigerian from the southern region succeeds President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
In his remarks while featuring as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, he wants his political party – the All Progressives Congress (APC) to zone the presidency to the South.
The former governor believes rotating the office of the President between the North and South will give citizens the sense of belonging necessary for the development of the nation.
“I have said it before (that) as far as the party I belong to is concerned – the APC, my proposal is that now that President Buhari is from the northern part of the country, he has done his eight years, let’s beam the searchlight to the southern part of Nigeria,” he said.
“Not because we don’t have enough competent people up North. If you say ‘let the other part of Nigeria produce the leader,’ that does not mean you are throwing to the dogs the issue of competence, the issue of credibility, and so on.
“While I agree we should go for the best and, therefore, throw it open regardless of which side of the country, we should also be mindful of aspect of the sense of belonging. You see, we must be mindful of the perception to give some sense of belonging to every part of Nigeria.”
The debate over the zoning of the presidency to the South has been ongoing for a while, and state governors are not left out of the controversy.
By the time President Buhari completes his second term in office, the Southern Governors’ Forum wants his successor to come from the region.
The Northern Governors’ Forum, in its reaction, says the provisions of the constitution have nothing to do with rotating the office of the President between the two regions.
Although the northern governors are not against the call to zone the presidency, they faulted the approach by their colleagues in the South.
“I subscribe to the view that we should be talking of the North and South, but where I disagree with the southern governors is coming together to gang up and say ‘it must be’; I think this is purely the party affairs,” said Shekarau who shares the same view with the northern governors.