…Uzodinma makes case for merit
By Nnamdi Okiego & Kennedy Mbele
Amid controversy over the propriety of rotational presidency between North and South, Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai has said no northerner should contest for the presidency in 2023.
El-Rufai expressed his personal opinion on what has become a divisive subject, dismissing insinuations that he was interested in the race.
The governor, who made the statement in an interview with BBC Hausa Service, had also made a similar remark last year.
His latest statement came on the heels of Alhaji Mamman Daura’s assertion that merit should determine who becomes President instead of zoning.
Daura, President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew aired his views also in an interview with BBC Hausa Service.
El-Rufai said: “In Nigerian politics, there is a system of rotation, in which everyone agrees that if the north rules for eight years, the south will rule for eight years. That is why I came out and said that after President Buhari has been in office for eight years, no northerner should run for office. Let the Southerners also have eight years. If you look at how I am, I don’t take anyone to work with me for the zone he came from. The eligibility I look at is if who is entrusted to the public will hold it properly. It has been said that I have loved the presidency since I was a minister in the FCT. This is nonsense. I do not want the Nigerian presidency. God gives power, whether you like it or not, if he wants it, He will give it to you, but I have never sought the presidency of Nigeria, no one can say I have ever sought it”.
Nigeria operates an unwritten rotational presidency between north and south. Of the major political blocs in the country, the South-East has not produced president since 1999.
Meanwhile, governor of Imo State, Sen. Hope Uzodinma has declared that the nation would be better off if merit is allowed to drive the processes of electing public office holders.
He spoke in Owerri, when he received in audience the Coalition of Ethnic Nationality Youth Leaders in Nigeria, who visited him.
His words: “I will rather see a situation where merit is allowed to drive the process of determining who occupies a public office in the country rather than where you come from. I think merit should drive the political process because the nation will be better off for it. We must use our diversity to strengthen national unity not to divide the nation. We should find unity in our diversity by believing in each other”.
He charged the youths to always support the Federal Government under President Buhari who he described as the most youth-friendly president so far in the country.
Uzodinma said despite all challenges, President Buhari gave the youths a sense of belonging through several forms of empowerment such as N-Power, political appointments, agric loans, skills and youth fund initiative.