2023 presidency: Shehu Sani cautions Northern politicians

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A Chieftain of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) Senator Shehu Sani (Kaduna Central 2015-2019) yesterday described Northerners eyeing the 2023 presidency as ungrateful politicians.

This is as he insisted that it would be unfair for the north to aspire to hold on to power beyond 2023, after other zones from the south supported President Muhammadu Buhari for two terms in office.

The activist turned politician, who was apparently reacting to Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai’s assertion that Nigeria should jettison rotation for competence also disclosed that Nigeria cannot talk of competence when the Igbo have not produced the president of Nigeria.

According to Sani, abandoning zoning now would be akin to changing the rule of a game at half time when you are leading and questioned whether all those that won elections in 2015 did so because of competence.

Sani who addressed newsmen after he paid a Sallah Homage to the first Executive Governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa on yesterday, also pointed out that it was not ideal to close the door after you have gone inside, asking that other zones should be given their own slot like the north.

He said, Southerners, particularly the southwest did everything possible to support President Muhammadu Buhari to emerge as the president in 2015, hence the need for the north to support other zones. His words: “My views on that is very simple. It is an act of ingratitude for any northerner to think that by 2023, he or she should aspire for office in view of the fact that, Southerners, particularly the southwest did everything possible to support the northern candidate to emerge as the president in 2015.

“It will amount to changing the rules of the game at half time, when you are leading two zero. It can also be likened to removing the ladder after you have plucked the fruit.

“The North should appreciate the support of progressive minded nationalists from the southwest or southern part of Nigeria, who had worked tirelessly to remove the PDP out of power in 2015.

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“We have not forgotten that president Buhari had contested three times without becoming President and on the fourth time, with the support of people from the South, he emerged the President of the country.

“It would be unfair after eight years, for us to think of continuing to hold the grip and levers of power in Nigeria.”

Sani also said: “Another point is that, in an ideal society where ethnicity, religion and other interest play no role, we can think of that in the farther future, but where all these issues continue, in a political scheme of Nigeria, we can’t shy away from them.”

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“What we need to put into perspective, is the fact that it will be a serious threat to unity and peace of our country if one part of the country will continue to dominate the political sphere of the country due to its demographic majority and land size.

“I am a socialist and I believe that the one who should preside over the affairs of the country should be competent, but is it competence that brought the ruling party to power in 2015?

“I think we should be very frank to ourselves and it will also be good for the President that he should rein in people in his party, to caution them against dropping such kind of discourse while at its infant stage now, before it overheats the polity.

“After President Buhari, power needs to rotate to some of these major geopolitical zones; you cannot close the door after you have gone inside. South West has helped us to be where we are today.

“You can’t talk of competency when you have not produced an Igbo president. Are they not Nigerians? You cannot continue to punish them for the offence which they are not architect of? That is my view.” He said.

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On the next four years, he said: “For the North, it is important for the President to set a policy agenda in the next four years to address the socio economic and security problems facing the northern part of Nigeria.

“The president must invest in the North in agriculture, education, infrastructure for us to prepare for a restructured Nigeria. Northern governors must complement that.

“I will say that every person has right to express his opinion but it will be unfair that after federal character is applied in employment, education and political appointment and even on the way the ruling party zones it offices in the National Assembly and then for you now to think of exclusive advantage of dominating the political sphere.

“Right now, the north must put its house in order and let us address the issue of majority and minority which has never existed in this scale in history of Nigeria.

“We must look towards energy and resource independence. The idea of waiting for federal allocation which comes from Abuja does not help us as people who have been before oil standing on our own feet.” Sani said.

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