BORNO State Governor Babagana Zulum has said that one of the agreements reached during the formative days of the All Progressives Congress (APC), after the party had zoned the presidency to the North, was that southern Nigeria would produce the next president of the country.
The governor, who spoke in an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday, expressed support for the resolution by southern governors that presidential power should shift to the South in 2023.
The southern governors had, during a meeting in Lagos on Monday, agreed that the region should produce Nigeria’s next president based on the principles of equity and fairness.
“I have said it times without number that I, Professor Babagana Zulum, I am of the view that the presidency should go to the South in the year 2023 because the unity of our country is very important,” he said.
“Secondly, inclusivity is very important. Thirdly, I am in the APC. Six or seven years ago, APC had zoned the presidency to northern Nigeria based on the agreement that in the year 2023, the presidency should go to the South.”
Although socio-political leaders from the South had the right to call for power shift to the region, Zulum faulted the manner in which they were going through it.
The governor called for caution so as not to overheat the polity in the lead-up to the 2023 polls.
“But again, this is politics. We are supposed to meet and discuss this issue among ourselves, among the political class,” he further said.
“This statement that people are saying that the president must go to the South, I want them to remove the word ‘must”
As the country prepares to go into 2023 politicking, several political leaders from the North, including Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai, have called for a power shift to the country.
“The southern part of the country is supposed to produce the president come 2023. I don’t support a northerner to vie for the seat after President Muhammadu Buhari, based on Nigeria’s political arrangement,” El-Rufai had stated during an interview in August 2020.
“After Buhari, what is honourable is for the northern politicians to put their support for southern candidates. I don’t believe in zoning, but that is my opinion. We have this arrangement, we should maintain it.
“I don’t believe any part of Nigeria has a monopoly to power. We have an understanding, let us stick to it. In 1998, this nation had a consensus that power should go to the South-West. ”