The All Progressives Congress lawmaker representing Nasarawa West Senatorial District, in the Senate, Abdullahi Adamu, has described the idea of power shift to the South in 2023, as wishful thinking.
The two-term former governor of Nasarawa State said this at a news conference, in Abuja, on Monday.
He noted that since the idea of zoning is not in the nation’s constitution, every eligible Nigerian was free to contest the 2023 presidential election regardless of his or her state of origin.
He said, “Nowhere in the Nigerian constitution says we should zone any public office.
“There is federal character but not that parties must zone positions for the presidency during an election.
“The constitution is being reviewed. If you want a specific provision that presidential positions, be zoned, you say it – and tell us how you want it to be zoned.
“Is it going to be from one zone to another? You can’t just wish away, a situation that is fundamental to a country. You can’t talk of merit and talk of zoning. You can’t.
“Let’s just go by merit. Let every party find a way of selling itself in a manner that will garner the kind of votes that will win the election. It’s as simple as that.
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“Yes, somebody is saying the East has not had a president. I agree and I sympathise with them but the constitution says you can only become president through the ballot box.
“We have been saying it during elections that every vote must count. So, why do you want to zone? Zone your mind if you want to zone.”
Adamu, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture, insisted that no amount of southern governors’ gang up would stop the herders from moving their cattle to any part of the country.
He said, “Every Nigerian has a right to free movement and the right to pursue any legitimate business. It is in the constitution.”
The Senator nevertheless said the herders had no right to engage in criminal activities or destroy other people’s farmlands.
“This (herders right of movement), does not excuse anybody, in the course of exercising his right, to harm another person’s right.
Adamu admitted that there was disunity among the southern and northern leaders, adding that it did not start with the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
He said, “The division did not start with my generation of politicians.
“Right from the amalgamation, there have been discontent and disagreement among our politicians right through to independence and this is in the blood.
“This government has not failed. Nothing is happening now that started with the Buhari’s government.”