ABUJA – Former Governor of Kano State and APC Chieftain, Ibrahim Shekarau, has urged the All Progressives Congress to field a southerner as its presidential candidate in 2023.
Shekarau, who is now a serving senator, made the call in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation Hausa Service, in Kano on Wednesday.
According to him, a political power shift is necessary for all Nigerians to have a sense of belonging.
He said violating such an arrangement would further divide Nigerians, adding that some would feel neglected or rejected.
The senator said, “This is also the same with rotating the presidency between the North and the South. If we ignore power shifts, we are not being fair to ourselves and we are not fair to history. In my opinion, a power shift is necessary for all Nigerians to have a sense of belonging.”
He, however, noted that although rotational presidency was not written in the APC’s constitution, he believed it was desirable for justice and fairness.
He said, “For instance, the present six geopolitical zones are not reflected in Nigeria’s constitution, but it is a good arrangement. You cannot implement any policy in Nigeria without taking geopolitical zones into consideration.
“You see, the North alone cannot produce enough votes for the president. Likewise the South; it is only when we come together. My belief is not only geopolitical regions, there is no state in the federation that does not have a competent person to lead this country.
“I am of the opinion that we should exercise patience and bring our brothers from the South close to us.”
However, while speaking on the possibility of the opposition party fielding a northern candidate, Shekarau said both the PDP and APC faced the same dilemma.
“Each is trying to outsmart the other. My advice to the parties (APC and PDP) is that they should not look at zoning from political exploitation, but what should be just and fair. Fair play and competence of the candidate should be the guiding principle,” he added.
He, however, emphasised the need to conduct congresses in order to elect party officials from the ward to national levels in addition to setting up a modality on how to spread political appointments across the country.