• Monday, June 17, 2024
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2023: Experts back El-Rufai on power shift to South

2023: Experts back El-Rufai on power shift to South

The Nigerian political landscape is suffused with permutations of power shift in 2023, and experts believe it is the right move to ensure the continued existence of the country as anything otherwise might lead to the breakup of the country.

Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, may have alluded to this fear when he insisted that power should shift to the southern part of the country as the North under President Muhammadu Buhari would have had power for eight years in 2023, contrary to a recent opinion of Buhari’s nephew, Mamman Daura.

El-Rufai’s position may have also resulted from an attempt to douse the tension and controversy generated by the statement credited to Daura, whose recent interview with the BBC Hausa Service suggested a conspiracy by some group in the presidency to ensure the North holds on to power beyond 2023.

Daura had said that the presidency considers power rotation as unnecessary, stressing that competence should be the major criterion to select the president in 2023 irrespective of where the person comes from, thereby discarding the zoning arrangement.

“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 told the BBC Hausa Service on Saturday.

El-Rufai said although the power shift arrangement among the various regions of the country is unconstitutional, it is, however, a political design that must be respected.

“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.

The governor also debunked the speculation that he is aspiring for the presidency. His support for power shift may have put those speculations to rest.

It is, however, believed that with power shift, he be may be nursing the ambition to become vice-president to a southern candidate.

Speaking to BusinessDay on Monday, Katch Ononuju, public affairs analyst, noted that although El-Rufai’s statement was apt, he might be trying to gain advantage knowing full well that power shift to the south is not negotiable.

“Everybody in the North knows that power shift is the only way to continue the country in peace and stability,” Ononuju said.

He warned that if the North insists on holding on to power, the country will break up.

“As I am talking to you, a small thing will spark it off (breakup). We are at 65 percent level of crisis, so all those irresponsible people saying power won’t shift don’t understand what it takes to sustain cordiality in a nation that needs progress,” he said.

He therefore advised Nigerians to ignore Daura, adding that he (Daura) and those who want power to remain in the North do not mean well for the country.

Also speaking, Pogu Bitrus, president of the Middle Belt Forum, said El-Rufai could not have said anything other than power shift because he knows that although it is an unwritten agreement, it is the only way to ensure equity, justice and avoid chaos in the country.

He, however, warned that unless President Buhari signs the new Electoral Bill into law to allow for electronic transfer of results, the government might use the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the judiciary and the security agencies to manipulate the process and shortchange the people of Nigeria.