Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi state, says zoning of presidency is not compulsory since it isn’t recognised in the country’s constitution.
Speaking at a media briefing in Abuja on Friday, Bello said it is okay if Nigeria agrees to zone the presidency, but noted that it should be based on equity and fairness.
The governor said in 2023, the best candidate should be someone who will unite the country.
“Zoning is not recognised in the 1999 Constitution; it’s absolutely unconstitutional. If we must continue with the sentiment of rotational presidency, it’s okay. But let’s do it right in the interest of equity, fairness and justice,” he said.
“Let us not take it from 1999. Let’s go back to 1960. From Independence, all the leaders we had, you will discover that all other geo-political zones, as they exist today, at one time had a position of leadership.
“In the 2023 presidential election, let the best candidate emerge who will unify and solve the problems of this country we are facing today — who will build on the legacies of Mr. President.
“It’s high time the youths took over the affairs of this country. I have always led from the front based on equity, fairness and justice.”
Bello noted that only the north-central and south-east zones have not produced a president.
“All I can say is that in factoring your 2023 equations, please allow yourselves to be guided by national interest to input the following factors: youthfulness, courage, security, diversity, clear records in successfully managing diversity which is where most post-independence leaders of Nigeria have failed,” he said.
“Also, very important, the inescapable point of equity. That is, only the north-central and south-east geopolitical zones of this country have not held the presidency or vice-presidency — the two highest offices in the land — since the return to civilian rule in 1999.
“All talks of zoning must be the handmaid of equity or we are merely playing dangerous politics and healing the wounds of the country deceitfully.”