*Warns North to forget 2023 Presidency or destroy Nigeria
By Ezeocha Nzeh
Former senator representing Kaduna Central, Sen. Shehu Sani, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the South-East and South-South geo-political zones are adequately carried along in the current distribution and appointment into key positions in his administration.
According to the fiery Senator, the continued victimization of the zones by denying their people sensitive offices would simply mean inviting anarchy to the country.
Sani, spoke in Minna at the weekend where he presented a key note address at a one-day Youth Awareness Forum, “Niger Open Forum”, organised by The Blue Revolutionaries (TBR).
He warned that any continued political exclusion of the zones would amount to “simply feeding anarchy, as well as propelling the zones to pursue secession cause, and increase crisis in this country.”
According to the former senator, “if you exclude the south-East or the South-South part of the country, or even the North-Central part of Nigeria because they didn’t vote for you, you are simply feeding anarchy, feeding the secessionists, feeding the merchant of crisis in this country.
“It is expected that when you win election, you are for everybody. We have a pattern in this country where people are excluded and marginalised out of government on the basis that their ethnic or religious group because they did not vote massively for the government in power; that is a very dangerous thing to do.
“After election you need a country to rule and the country must be at peace, that is my view on that,” he submitted.
He also warned the north to stay clear of the quest for the 2023 presidency, stressing that it would amount to laying a landmine if there is any attempt to deny the Southern parts of the country a shot at the Presidency in 2023.
He maintained that the north has had its fair share of federal leadership under President Muhammadu Buhari, and must allow other parts of the country to have their turn.
Some northern politicians, including the Chairman of the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum (AYCF), Mallam Shettima Yerima and the former Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Babachir Lawal, have maintained that the north will not leave the presidency in 2023, insisting that the zone must also join in the race since they have the number to retain the post.
“My own position is that the north has had its own fair share of leadership under President Muhammadu Buhari. Anybody who is saying power should remain in the north even after Buhari, is simply laying a land mine for the destruction of our country,” he warned.
Sen. Sani maintained that it is “too premature” to start talking about who succeeds Buhari at the moment, stressing that what should occupy people’s discourse is how to bring about good governance and rule of law at all levels.
He warned those with such northern agenda insinuations that what keeps a nation together is equity and fairness, pointing out that “we should understand that it is not simply about winning elections that keeps a nation, it is about being able to stabilise and balance all the forces.”
He commended President Buhari for his decision not to consult state governors in forming his cabinet, adding that “experience has shown that state governors don’t send names of competent people; they send their loyalists, they send people who are not going to outshine them.
“Unfortunately, they don’t own up to failures of the kinds of people they send, so the president should form a cabinet of people who are capable, competent and patriotic.
“The report I am hearing that he is going to appoint his ministers based on merit and not recommendation from state governors and it is quite commendable. This is because he has a legacy to leave behind, because when things go wrong it is about Muhammadu Buhari, and if it goes right is about Muhammadu Buhari.
“I am happy with that decision because if no governor consults the president before appointing his commissioners, then there should be no compulsion for the president to consult any governor before appointing his ministers,” he said.
Leadership of the South-East zone has decried the marginalization of the zone since the Buhari presidency in 2015, but the president told them that he chose his cabinet and aides based on competency.
The zone in particular, has been pointing at Buhari’s remark of “5 percent vote” as the reason why they were excluded from government because the president got very small votes from the zone.