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Zoning the presidency in 2023 will produce ‘useless’ candidates —Sanusi

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Sanusi Lamido

A former governor of the Central Bank Nigeria (CBN) and former Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi III, has condemned the struggle by politicians to zone the presidency to a particular part of the country.

He lamented that such zoning methods, instead of focusing on interested individuals usually turns out producing what he said are ‘useless candidates’ vying for the presidency.

He spoke on Friday during an interview on Arise TV.

Read also: Nigeria’s economy on the brink of collapse – Sanusi

Sanusi stated that Nigerians should clamour for a system that would strengthen the electoral process, like electronic transmission of results, even as he wondered why the National Assembly killed the bill.

He said Nigerians should be more concerned about issues holding down the country, and who can solve them, rather than where the president should come from.

According to him, settling for zoning political offices, especially that of the president would present the country with a choice of selecting between candidates that are not ok.

“At the end of the exercise, you end up with Nigeria being presented with two equally useless candidates,” he said.

“Let us have their names. Those of them, who want to be president of Nigeria, show your face whether you are from the north or the south.

“Now I believe that politicians can agree among themselves to have rotations if they feel that is going to be good for stability. What they call my turn and your turn. At the end of the day, we need to have a system where if I am a Southern Nigerian, I do not feel in any way worse off because the president came from the North and if I’m a Northerner I don’t feel worse off because they came from the south.

“In any case, what is north and what is south? Is it the Southwest or the man from the South-East? Right now you have the Igbos saying that they haven’t had the presidency and that the Yorubas have had it. If you go to the Niger Delta and say they have had it, somebody will tell you that Jonathan is Ijaw. Edo has not had it. Where are we going to stop? Meanwhile, we have before us very serious issues.”

Speaking further, Sanusi knocked lawmakers who are opposing the electronic transmission of results, saying they are “shamelessly announcing to the country that they plan to rig” elections.

“We have simple issues like electronic transmission of results which is designed to make the electoral process fairer and clearer, and you have people who are saying they do not want it.

“I mean shamelessly announcing to the country that they plan to rig. Why aren’t you discussing those issues? We have elections in which the police, INEC, and security services were partisans.

“When you go for an election in Nigeria, you’re not just contesting against your opponent. You are contesting against political thugs, against Security Services, against the INEC, and the judiciary.

“Why aren’t you talking about that? Why are politicians not talking about how they can give us a more reliable and more transparent process for selecting a leader? Why are they focusing on where the leadership comes from? Why is that critical? Why are those the most important things to discuss at this point?

“And that is why I said at the beginning that the greatest weakness that we have as a country is that we do not think. Yes we are very smart when it comes to making money and doing our work but we do not apply critical intellect to basic things and these guys just take the entire country for a ride.”

He continued, “This electronic transmission was passed by a Senate committee and the members of the committee who passed it came to the floor of the Senate to oppose their recommendation and this country is just watching.

“Meanwhile every political party does the electronic transmission. Ask them PDP and APC, they all have situation rooms. They all receive electronic results of votes from every polling station when it is done, but they’re telling you it cannot be done by INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission).

“They do it. They receive it. They know when they are losing. They know when they need to rig. They know when they need to go and burn ballot papers. They know when to declare elections inconclusive before the results are announced because they are getting electronic transmission when decisions are been taken and they are telling you that INEC cannot do it.”

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