Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State on Saturday made a fresh case for the south to produce President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor in 2023.
El-Rufai said on the Hausa Service of BBC that the country’s political arrangement requires a southerner to take over from Buhari.
“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,” he said.
He added: “That is why I came out and said that after President Buhari has been in office for eight years, no northerner should run for office. Let the Southerners also have eight years.”
El-Rufai said although the power rotation arrangement runs contrary to the constitution, it is a political exigency that deserves to be respected by all parties.
“I believe that (there is) no developed country across the world that considers leadership based on where someone comes from.
“However, in Nigerian politics, there is an arrangement that we all believe on rotational leadership. We are aware of that. Anyone who denies that is wrong,” he said.
He denied the speculations that he is aspiring to become president himself, dismissing them as baseless.
“It has been said that I have loved the presidency since I was minister in the FCT. This is nonsense.
“I don’t want to be president. Only God decides someone’s future. Whether you like it or not, I have never shown interest for the presidency,” he said.
The governor said although he supports power rotation at the national level, he is opposed to it in his state because “in Kaduna, I don’t work with people because they came from a particular zone. Rather, I work with you based on your capacity to deliver on a task given to you and your ability to keep public trust.”
He spoke on the heels of a similar interview granted by President Buhari’s nephew, Mamman Daura, who said merit rather than zoning should be the sole factor for picking Nigeria’s president.
Daura’s view drew flaks from many Nigerians, who believed that he was pushing out an agenda.
The Presidency, however, said Daura spoke for himself.