2023: Support of Southeast your best legacy, Sani tells Buhari
— Calls for power shift to the South
Former representative of Kaduna Central Senatorial District at the Red Chamber of the National Assembly, Senator Shehu Sani, said today that the greatest legacy that President Muhammadu Buhari should leave behind when he leaves office in 2023 would be to preserve the unity of Nigeria by allowing power shift to the South, particularly the Southeast.
Coming at the time when most of the aspirants for the 2023 Presidential Election have seen the need to make public their ambitions, Sani’s advice has attracted immediate reactions from Nigerians.
Senator Shehu Sani, who represented Kaduna Central Senatorial Zone in the 8th Assembly, made the contribution today, during a Channels television outing.
He also advised political parties, especially the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) “to respect the feelings and mood of the nation and zone its presidential slot to the South.” He called on Buhari to put the unity of the country above every other consideration by giving every part of the country a sense of equal ownership of the nation called Nigeria. Sani also said that as the leader of the ruling party in the country Buhari “has the responsibility to ensure that his party, the APC, recognises every part of the country as equal partners in Nigeria by giving the South, particularly the Southeast the chance to produce the next president of the country. According to him, since 1999, the North had ruled Nigeria twice in Shehu Yar’Adua and Mohammed Buhari and the Southwest, eight years in Olusegun Obasanjo; the South-South, six years in Goodluck Jonathan.”
According to Sani, “morality, equity and sense of equal recognition therefore demand that the Southeast be allowed to also have a stake in the presidency of Nigeria.
Sani posited that the only way power can go to the South is for the major political parties, the People’s Democratic Party PDP and APC to zone their presidential slots to the South. He also alleged that it is “a clear lack of sincerity for one of the parties to pick a candidate from the North while believing that another, with a candidate from the South could still win.”
Pointing out that one cannot continue to promote marginalisation of a section of the people and expect protests and agitation to stop, Sani said, “if my own part of the country is marginalised; I will join the protest too.” According to him, if you have a system that takes care of educationally backward states, why can’t the same system be applied to politically disadvantaged states like the Southeast?
As he puts it: “If one part of a country can be given special consideration on quota basis, why not same consideration be given to another part that has been denied an opportunity to have a shot at the presidency too all this while?”
Sani’s advise has been described as “an important boost to earlier calls for power shift to the South by Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Afenifere and the Southern Governors Forum, among other stakeholders.
Mr Donald Nzorka, for example, told NewsOrient today that “Sani’s is a voice of reason. I hope and pray that President Buhari will wave aside petty pressure and chose to write his name in gold. If his political activities help to promote genuine unity in Nigeria and at the same time ensure he is succeeded by a competent and honest leader, history will judge him fairly. But if he promotes ethnic and selfish interest as he leaves office, posterity will judge him harshly,” he said.