By Ezeocha Nzeh
AS condemnations have continued to trail the comments credited to President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew and member of his administration’s inner circle, Mamman Daura overruling the continuation of zoning in the 2023 presidential election, the Arewa Youths have maintained that the Southern geo political zones should be allowed to produce the next president for the country
The group noted that while merit and qualification to vote the best candidate is very necessary as stated by Daura, it would be in the interest of equity, fairness and justice the South should first produce a President before zoning is jettisoned.
The youths, under the aegis of the Arewa Youths for Peace and Security (AYPS), said the south should be allowed to produce the next President because it will further unite Nigeria.
President of the group, Alhaji Salisu Magaji, who stated this in a statement, on Sunday, argued it will be unfair not to allow the South take another shot at the presidency under the zoning arrangement before it is dropped.
“Our view is that we support and encourage the zoning of the 2023 presidency to the South. They have a chance to bring a credible and competent candidate to run for 2023 presidency.
“Our position is that the North should support the South for the peace, stability and tranquillity of the nation,” they reiterated.
The youths added: “It is our belief now that if we say the North should continue after President Buhari ends his second tenure it will affect the cohesion as nation and destroy its fabric.”
Meanwhile, the Presidency at weekend said the views expressed by Malam Mamman Daura, on zoning were personal to him and did not, in any way, reflect that of either the president or his administration.
Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, stated this in a statement in Abuja.
He said that Mamman qualified as an elder statesman with a national duty to hold perspectives and disseminate them as guaranteed under the nation constitution and laws of the land, adding that he does not need the permission or clearance of anyone to exercise this right.”
The statement read in part: ”We have received numerous requests for comments on the interview granted by Malam Mamman Daura, President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew to the BBC Hausa Service.
“It is important that we state from the onset that as mentioned by the interviewee, the views expressed were personal to him and did not, in any way, reflect that of either the President or his administration.
“At age 80, and having served as editor and managing director of one of this country’s most influential newspapers, the New Nigerian, certainly, Malam Mamman qualifies as an elder statesman with a national duty to hold perspectives and disseminate them as guaranteed under our constitution and laws of the land. He did not need the permission or clearance of anyone to exercise this right.”