By Dirisu Yakubu
Nigerian youths of northern extraction have canvassed for the emergence of a southern president and kicked against the position canvassed by Mamman Daura, a nephew of President Muhammadu Buhari that the country should embrace competence in determining her next President in 2023 instead of resorting to zoning.
The youths under the auspices of the Arewa Youths for Peace and Security, AYPS, said if the presidency is allowed to return to the South in 2023, it will help make the nation more stable and
President of the group, Alhaji Salisu Magaji who disclosed this in a statement made available newsmen maintained that it will be unfair not to allow the south to take another shot in the leadership of the country under the zoning arrangement before it is dropped.
The Arewa youths disclosed that while the group’s thought is in line with Mamman Daura’s belief that it is time for the nation to discard zoning the presidency and embrace credibility, merit and qualification to vote the best candidate, “it is in the interest of equity, fairness and justice, that the south should first produce a President again for the country before zoning is jettisoned.
“Our view is that we support and encourage the zoning of the 2023 presidency to the South. They have a chance to bring a credible and competent candidate to run for 2023 presidency. Our position is that the North should support the South for the peace, stability and tranquility of the nation.”
Magaji also noted that the nation desire a leader that “can provide capacity, credible and with foresight and men and women with these credentials abound in the South. So we should allow them to lead us in 2023.
“It is our belief now that if we say the north should continue after President Buhari ends his second tenure, it will affect the cohesion as nation and destroy its fabric.”
The statement continued: “Our candid advice is that the north should step aside to allow a southerner to succeed Buhari. It is a sacrifice we must encourage. It is a sacrifice we must partake.
“Thereafter, by 2031 after the south has taken another shot, we can now be talking strictly embracing credibility and competence irrespective of the geographical zones to determine who occupies the presidential seat.
“At that point, it is strictly who has the quality and capacity to provide and sustain the growth and development of our nation and not where you come from.”
Magaji premised his argument with what happened in the era of President Auwal Sadat of Egypt “whose blood relation, his cousin, I think Hosni Mubarak, was his Vice President and together they provided the foundation for the glorious era of the Egyptian nation.
“One might say this was not under a political arrangement. Yes! But desirable results were achieved all the same. What then stops us to foist a leadership that will take our nation to that height that will put it shoulder to shoulder with its contemporaries in the comity of developed nations going forward.”