Former Governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, has said the next President after the incumbent, Muhammadu Buhari, should come from the Southern region of the country to give “a sense of belonging” to every Nigerian.
Shekarau, who represents Kano Central District in the Senate, stated this on Monday while featuring on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ breakfast programme.
The All Progressives Congress chieftain said that the next President after the incumbent, Muhammadu Buhari, should come from the Southern region of the country to give “a sense of belonging” to every Nigerian.
He also noted that the APC should zone its presidential ticket to a capable and credible candidate in the South in the next election which is about 18 months from now.
The two-term governor and former Minister of Education, however, knocked the Southern Governors for “ganging up” to demand Presidency in 2023.
As the 2023 general elections draw nearer, there have been intense political posturing, permutations and fireworks. The 17 Southern Governors had met twice in the year and demanded power shift to their region while the 19 Northern Governors also met last week, opposing such move and noting that the candidate with the highest votes will emerge as President in the next general elections.
Speaking on the television programme, Shekarau lamented that it was very unfortunate that the issue of zoning has degenerated to a point where democracy has been reduced to “regional gang-up”.
The Senator knocked the Southern Governors for their various meetings and “gang ups”, saying they should desist from instigating other groups in the country from making similar demands that would heat up the polity.
He said that the Southern Governors should make intra-party consultations and discussions, rather than make public declarations.
Shekarau said, “As far as the party I belong is concerned, the APC, my proposal is that now that President Buhari is from the northern part of the country and (after) he has done his eight years, let beam the searchlight to the southern part of Nigeria, not because we don’t have competent people in the north…that does not mean you are throwing away the issue of competence, credibility and so on.
“While I agree we should go for the best and therefore throw it open, regardless of which part of the country, but we must also be mindful of the aspect of the sense of belonging. We must be mindful of perception, to give some sense of belonging to every part of Nigeria.
“Where I disagree with the Southern Governors is coming together to gang up to say it must be our turn. I think this is purely a party affair.”
Continuing, he said, “We must not do this at the point of threat, that it must be me, it must be he, we need to come together. This is more of a political party issue.
“My point of disagreement with the gang up groups like the Southern Governors is coming to gang up to say it must be our time, this is wrong, it is purely (a) party issue and the political parties should go into the boardrooms and sort this issue out themselves.”
“Today, the Southern Governors gang up, tomorrow, another group would gang up and say it must be us,” he said.
“Governors are very prominent people in the scheme of things, they are leaders, so, they must be careful coming together to make some pronouncement that would amount to instigating the general public to take a stand and see it as a regional fight,” Shekarau added.