We never opposed 2023 presidency to the south — el-Rufai

The Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, has said his colleagues in the north under the aegis of the Northern Governor’s Forum never opposed the presidency going to the South in 2023.

El-Rufai, however, noted that the regional governors were only against the language used in the resolution of the southern governors on the issue of power shift.

But in the communiqué read out to journalists by the chairman of the Forum and governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong in the Monday’s emergency meeting, the governors had said: “The Forum observed that some northern states governors had earlier expressed views for a power-shift to three Geo-Political Zone in the south to promote unity and peace in the nation.

Notwithstanding their comments, the Forum unanimously condemn the statement by the Southern Governor’s Forum that the presidency must go to the south. The statement is quite contradictory with the provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) as amended that the elected president shall:-score the majority votes; score at least 25% of the votes cast in 2/3 States of the Federation. In the case of run-up, simple majority wins the election.”

On Wednesday, el-Rufai while clarifying the resolution of the governors said that northern governors were alarmed that their southern counterparts will use the word “must” in their agitation for power shift to the south after the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari’s regime in 2023.

The governor stated that the word ‘’must’’ was at variance with democracy which is characterized by negotiations and horse-trading by parties involved, often out of the public glare. 

el-Rufai recalled that he and some other northern governors had earlier called for a power shift in 2023 in their individual capacities to foster national unity and togetherness’, adding that ‘’he was called names by his people for making that call.’’

The Kaduna governor made these clarifications in a media chat with select Kaduna-based broadcast journalists on Tuesday night. He added that the media misrepresented the resolution of the Northern Governors’ Forum meeting which was held on Monday, on power shift. 

The governor who spoke in Hausa, reminded that “the north has supported southern presidential aspirants in the past,’’ recalling that it ‘’supported Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s aspiration in 1999 and his re-election in 2003.”

According to him, southern governors should have reached out to their northern counterparts on the issue of power shift instead of playing to the gallery.


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