You can’t force us to give you presidency, El-Rufai tells Southern Governors | Dailytrust

You can’t force us to give you presidency, El-Rufai tells Southern Governors

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai

Governor Nasir El-Rufai  of Kaduna State has said Southern Governors cannot force the north to hand the presidency over to the region.

El-Rufai said this while commenting on the demand of Southern governors that their region must produce the next president.

The Southern governors made the demand during a meeting they held in Lagos in July.

At a meeting in Kaduna on Monday, the Northern Governors forum made it clear that zoning is unconstitutional.

But El-Rufai, who had earlier advocated power shift to the region, said Southern governors took things too far when they stressed that the north must relinquish power come 2023.

“You cannot force us to give you the presidency; the use of the word ‘must’; as in, whether we like it or not? Why bring the issue of compulsion in political matters?”

“There is nothing like power shift in the constitution, these gestures are extended based on goodwill, unity and dialogue.

“Every political party has its own constitution and there is nowhere in the APC constitution where we agreed to do rotational presidency,” he said on a radio programme monitored by Daily Trust.

The governor said even in the constitution of the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) where rotational presidency is enshrined, “they broke that rule during the tenure of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan.”

“So, for anyone to come out and say a Nigerian who wants to contest for the presidency cannot do so because of the region he comes from, this is not enshrined in our constitution.”

“Some of us, including myself, have come out in the spirit of goodwill to say that after President Muhammadu Buhari, the south should be allowed to produce the next president, we said that in the interest of unity not because there are no people from the north who are qualified to contest or have the right to contest,” he added.

The governor further chided his Southern counterparts “for rushing to the press with their declaration” instead of meeting with governors from the north to discuss and negotiate on the issue.

“Will it be fair if governors from the north had taken a decision that no governor from the south should contest? They should know that we are also governors and they should have met with us to discuss and negotiate.”

“Politics is about give and take but since they felt the need to say it is a ‘must’ for power to move to their region, we also feel the need to remind them that this is against Nigeria’s constitution. They should know that politics is about dialogue and give and take not to come out in the media and be shouting that another person has no right to contest,” he said.

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