The Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasiru Ahmad El-Rufai, has said that he will not contest for the 2023 presidency.
In an interview with Hausa Service of the BBC, El-Rufai suggested that the 2023 presidency be zoned to the southern part of the country after the expiration of the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said: “Many have been saying that I want to contest for president since I was a Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“This does not make sense.
“I do not want [to contest the Nigerian presidency].
“It’s God that gives power, whether you like it or not.
“If He [God] wants, He [God] will give it to you, but I have never intended to contest for the presidency of Nigeria and nobody can say I did, ” El-Rufai added.
El-Rufai also said that there is a standing agreement that if the north rules for eight years, the presidency should be zoned to the south, stressing that although the agreement was not enshrined in the constitution, politicians are aware of it.
The governor, who is in his second tenure, said: “That is why I came out and said that after President Buhari’s eight years, no northerner should contest for the office.
“Let the southerners also have eight years.”
President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew, Mallam Mamman Daura, had said on Tuesday 27 July, 2020, that there was no need for zoning of presidential ticket to any part of the country.
Daura said competence should be given priority in the choice of presidential candidate in 2023.
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the main opposition party; Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as well as many socio-political groups in the country have since kicked against Daura’s position over zoning of position of the president.
The Presidency also distanced itself from Daura’s comment.
However, while insisting on zoning, El-Rufai wants competency to be considered as well.
El-Rufai stated that he had always prioritized merit in his appointments over regionality.
“If you look at the way I run my affairs, I don’t consider regionality of appointees.
“I rather consider their merit and commitment to public trust.”