By Dennis Agbo
Consensus has continued to build on the need for the rotation of the 2023 presidency to the Southern part of the country, particularly to the South East.
Adding his voice to the clamour, Senator Shehu Sani who represented Kaduna Central Senatorial district in the 8th Assembly has urged all political parties, particularly the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, to respect the feelings and mood of the nation and zone its presidential ticket to the South.
Speaking on a Channels Tv morning show, on Tuesday, Senator Sani called on President Mohammed Buhari to put the unity of the country above every other consideration by giving every part of the country a sense of equal ownership of the country.
Sani told President Buhari that as the leader of the ruling party, he has a responsibility to ensure that his party, the APC, recognises every part of the country as equal partners in Nigeria by giving the South, particularly the South East the chance to produce the next president of the Nigeria.
According to him, “Since 1999, the North had ruled Nigeria twice in Umoru Yar’Adua and Mohammed Buhari and the South West, eight years in Olusegun Obasanjo; while the South South had six years in Goodluck Jonathan. Therefore, morality, equity and sense of equal recognition demand that the South East be allowed to also have a stake in the presidency of Nigeria.”
Sani maintained that the only way power can go to the South is for the major political parties, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and the APC to zone their presidential slots to the South.
He insisted that it was a clear lack of sincerity for one of the parties to pick a candidate from the North while believing that another with a candidate from the South could still win.
Making a case for South East, Sani said: “You cannot continue to promote marginalisation of a section of the people and expect protests and agitation to stop. If my own part of the country is marginalised, I will join the protest too.
“If you have a system that takes care of educationally backward states, why can’t the same system be applied to politically disadvantaged states like the South East. If one part of a country can be given special consideration on quota basis why can’t the same consideration be given to another part that has been denied an opportunity to have a shot at the presidency all this while?”
He however reasoned that the greatest legacy that Buhari would leave behind is to preserve the unity of Nigeria by allowing power shift to the South, particularly, the South East.
Recall that the Southern Governors’ Forum, South East Governors Forum and other regional bodies such as Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Afenifere, among others are all united in their demands that power should shift to the South.