Laleye Dipo in Minna
Immediate past Senator representing Kaduna Central senatorial district, Alhaji Shehu Sani, has said the northern part of the country has no reason to seek the office of the Nigerian president in 2023 as being clamoured for by some northern politicians, insisting that “the presidency must shift to the South in 2023.”
Sani, now a chieftain of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) on which platform he contested and lost a second bid for the Senate after dumping the All Progressives Congress (APC), said it would amount to laying a landmine in the country if the South is denied the presidency in 2023.
Speaking at the sidelines of Niger State Open Forum organised by The Blue Revolutionaries, a non-governmental organisation in Minna at the weekend, Sani added that the North would have had its fair share of the presidency after President Muhammadu Buhari would have spent eight years in office.
He said: “My own position is that the North has had its own fair share of leadership by President Buhari, so anybody who is saying power should remain in the North even after President Buhariin 2023 is simply laying a landmine for the destruction of our country.”
Though the former senator conceded that “it is too premature to start talking about who succeeds Buhari in 2023,” he nonetheless reminded those with such insinuation that “what keeps a nation together is equity and fairness,” adding that “we should understand that it is not simply about winning election that keeps a nation, it is about being able to stabilise and balance all the forces.”
Sani’s remarks came against the backdrop of recent statement by the Chairman of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Alhaji Shettima Yerima, that the North will still produce the Nigerian president in 2023.
The senator also advised President Buhari on the constitution of his cabinet to be fair to all segments of the country notwithstanding which party the zones voted for in the election.
According to the senator, President Buhari must not exclude any part of the country in his key appointments on the basis that they didn’t vote for him or didn’t vote for his party,” saying doing so will amount to “simply feeding the anarchy, secessionists and merchants of crisis in this country.
“If you exclude the eastern or the South-south region or even the North central part of Nigeria because they didn’t vote for you, you are simply feeding the anarchy as well as the secessionists and the merchants of crisis in Nigeria.”
Asked if the president was not unnecessarily delaying in picking members of his cabinet, the Senator said: “I think he should not repeat the mistake of 2015. The most important thing for him now is to pick his cabinet immediately and hit the ground running.
“There should be no excuses again for failure to perform in the sense that he now has all the ample opportunity,” he added.
Sani urged the president not to consult state governors while making his choice of ministers and principal officers, adding that experience has shown that the governors always refused to recommend competent and qualified people for the positions.