Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi, has faulted the calls for the zoning of the presidency ahead of the 2023 election.
Speaking with journalists after a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, the governor said “rotational presidency” has outlived its usefulness.
Rather than the zoning arrangement, the governor asked Nigerians to go for the “best candidate”, irrespective of where the person comes from.
“For once, let’s get Nigeria fixed. We have practised as seemingly rotational presidencies since 1999 to date. Let us evaluate our successes or achievements from this seeming rotational presidency between then and now.
“Why don’t we simply go for the best? After all, we copied this democracy from America and some of the developed countries. How many of these countries are practising traditional presidency? You see, we are where we are today not because we are practising rotational presidency.
“If you want to go by that rotational presidency, then do perfect zoning. Go by perfect rotation. And if you go by rotation and whichever way you come from, I don’t think you should exclude where I come from. That’s number one.
“Number two, let us get a credible, sincere, patriotic Nigerian to fix it. If you’re flying an aircraft, you don’t ask who is the pilot? If you undergo operation in a hospital, you wouldn’t ask “which doctor is this?’ ‘Is he from your zone, your tribe, your religion?’ All you want is the best pilot to fly you safely to your destination. All you want is the best doctor to handle you and deliver you safely from the operation.
“I think Nigeria is at that point now of seeking the best from anywhere in this country, irrespective of where he comes from. Thereafter, you balance in position to reflect equity, fairness and justice. That is my position.”
Bello, who had earlier said many Nigerians have been asking him to run for president, said he will find a way to get through to the south-east on supporting the next president.
The governor said he has always worked with people from the region, adding that Moses Okezie, his speech writer, hails from the south-east.
“I think where you come from should not matter in your service to this nation. The religion you practise should not matter. The creed you belong to, the class you belong to, should not matter. What should matter most is the content that is contained in you — your stuff. What do you have to offer this country, to secure lives and livelihoods, to unite this country to make sure that Nigerians are respected not only at home, but abroad?
“So, I want to believe that when the time comes, Nigerians will see reason. Of course, already, they are calling on me. When the time comes, it’s going to be overwhelming. The 1993 hope that was dashed will be revived and actualised in 2023.”