A former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, declared on Sunday only the South-East, North-Central and North-East have the right to fight for the country’s presidency in 2023.
Fani-Kayode, who disclosed this in an article titled: “Which zone deserves to produce our next president?,” stressed that these three regions had been denied the privilege of producing the Nigerian president with full executive powers.
The ex-minister slammed some Nigerians for opposing the zoning arrangement, adding that it was introduced in the interest and unity of the country.
The debate on the zoning of the presidency has taken a new dimension in the last few weeks with Nigerians expressing divergent opinions on the matter.
Many of the country’s political parties will hold their presidential primaries this month.
Fani-Kayode wrote: “When it comes to the presidency of Nigeria the facts are as follows: The North-West zone has produced a democratically elected President with full executive powers for approximately 15 years since independence. (President Shehu Shagari from 1979 till 1983) (President Umaru Yar’adua from 2007 till 2010) and (President Muhammadu Buhari from 2015 till 2023).
“The South-West zone has produced a democratically elected President with full executive powers for approximately 8 years since independence. (President Olusegun Obasanjo from 1999 till 2007).
“The South- South zone has produced a democratically elected President with full executive powers for approximately 5 years since independence.
“The North-East zone has produced a democratically elected Prime Minister with full executive powers for approximately 5 years since independence 62 years ago. (Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa from October 1st 1960 till January 15th 1966).
The North- Central zone has NEVER produced a democratically elected President with full executive powers since independence. The South-East zone has NEVER produced a democratically elected President with full executive powers since independence.
“Going forward, if the only criteria is fairness and equity and if we are to put primordial and tribal sentiments aside, there are only three zones that can legitimately claim the presidency next year.
“The South-East and North-Central have NEVER done so and the North-East has only done so once when Sir Tafawa Balewa was Prime Minister for 5 years and 3 months APPROXIMATELY 60 YEARS AGO.
“Take it or leave it, this is the bitter truth. Anyone, regardless of which part of the country they are from, who wishes to be President, must be totally committed to preserving the unity of Nigeria.”
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