The governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, has said that Nigeria’s next president in 2023 should emerge from the southern part of the country.
Mr El-Rufai said this on Saturday in an interview with the BBC Hausa Service.
“The southern part of the country is supposed to produce the president come 2023; I don’t support a northerner to vie for the seat after President Muhammadu Buhari, based on Nigeria’s political arrangement,” Mr El-Rufai said.
His remarks came over a week after President Buhari’s influential nephew, Mamman Daura, said he was against zoning of the presidency.
Mr Daura’s comment was criticised by political groups and leaders in the South, who expect that based on the unwritten zoning arrangement, power will go to the region after Mr Buhari’s tenure ends in 2023. The president is a native of Katsina, in the north-west.
Mr El-Rufai said although the power shift arrangement among the various regions of the country is unconstitutional, it is, however, a political design that must be respected.
“I believe that (there is) no developed country across the world that considers leadership based on where someone comes from. However, in Nigerian politics, there is an arrangement that we all believe on rotational leadership. We are aware of that, anyone who denies that is wrong,” the governor said.
Mr El-Rufai said although he supports power rotation at the national level, he was against a similar arrangement in Kaduna where he is governor.
“In Kaduna, I don’t work with people because they came from a particular zone, rather, I work with you based on your capacity to deliver on a task given to you and your ability to keep public trust,” Mr El-Rufai said.
The governor also debunked the speculation that he is aspiring for the presidency, saying the speculation has been there for a while from the time he was a minister of the FCT.
“It is a baseless speculation. I don’t want to be president; only God decides someone’s future whether you like it or not, I have never shown interest for the presidency.”