By Boma Nwuke
That the office of the President is not an exclusive preserve of a particular part of a country or ethnic group is well known even to small-minded bigots.
That politics is about interest,and collation of interests to satisfy collective needs of a people cannot be over emphasised.
That Nigeria a nation having a population of 250 ethnic groups, a head count of over,200 million, with remarkable geographic and religious differences is seating on a keg of gunpowder and as such very fragile to provoke with selfish sentiments is very well understood.by all members of the Federation.
Which is why the interview Mamman Daura, the President’s nephew granted the BBC Hausa instantly triggered wide condemnation..
Daura had said that the Nigeria Political Space should be left open for the best candidate to emerge from any part of the country to succeed Buhari after his tenure in 2023,
According to him, the zoning formula which had been adopted for over two decades in the election of the country had failed..
When Daura threw that bombshell,many Nigerians were shocked to hear what they referred to as Undemocratic and insensitive views of someone close to President Buhari, who himself is a product of zoning.
Among prominent Nigerians who raised their voices in support of the principle of rotation, was Nasir El-Rufai,Governor of Kaduna State.
El Rufai,a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja and one of the founders of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, a few days after, Daura’s interview also spoke on BBC Hausa,condemning any call for the north to perpetually be in power.
The vocal voice in the community of governors unequivocally said that power should move to the South in 2023 after President Buhari’s tenure
El Rufai stated that there was a standing agreement that if the North ruled for 8 years, the Presidency should be zoned to the South adding that although, the agreement was not enshrined in the constitution, politicians were aware of it.
That interview by El Rufai,in no small measure doused the tensed atmosphere of the polity.
The South East Socio -Cultural group Ohaneze Indi Igbo had ,issued a statement condemning Daura’s interview warning that equity should not be sacrificed on the alter of”Parochialism’ since it was the rotation sentiment that produced the incumbent.”
The Presidency’s reaction by Garba Shehu which said that Daura’s statement did not reflect the views of the Buhari Administration appears welcome, but was perceived to be “medicine after death” because as many argued, the statement did not come from just anybody but a blood relation of the president who is always around the corridors of the villa.
Rotation in political offices is central for peace , Unity and development.it is the tonic for growth of democracy and stability of a nation.
Where agreements are binding and respected, suspicions are eliminated and everyone feels a sense of belonging in the nation.
Nigeria,”our own dear native land, though tribes and tongue may differ,In brotherhood we stand,” that is the defining philosophy of One Nigeria.
One Nigeria meant doing things that are just,fair and equitable.
Just as El-Rufai stated,there is an agreement and with respect to other parts of the country that agreement should be respected.In the case of competent hands to rule,it is important to state that very competent hands are abundantly available to consolidate on the gains achieved by the Buhari government.
And it is interesting to note that the South are gearing up for the Presidential elections even though the days seem far.
It is on the premise of who is qualified that this discourse parades men in the South who have been tried in the business of governance.
Front Runners in the South West
Babatunde Raji Fashola,Seniour Advocate of Nigeria, currently serving as Federal Minister of Works and Housing.He was governor of Lagos State between May 29 2007to May 29,2015 Born June 28,1963. in Lagos. He is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress APC.
Yemi Osinbajo Senior Advocate of Nigeria,a professor of Law currently the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.Born on March 8,1957, Lagos. He is a Pastor of a new generation church The Redeemed Christian Church of God, with a spread across the nation and across cities around the world.His admirers see him as a simple man, with a culture of resilience and perseverance.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu,leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC,and served as Governor of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007. Born March 29,1952. He said to have a good financial standing to get off anything that stands his way of progress and reportedly eyeing the most coveted office in the land.His admirers say his word is law not only in Lagos but the South West.
Kayode Fayemi, Currently serving as Governor of Ekiti State and .He served as governor between 2010 and 2014 before losing to Ayodele Fayose.Born February 9,1965. He is the Chairman of the Governors Forum.
Seyi Makinde, businesman turned politician. Currently serving as Governor of Oyo State whose first tenure ends in 2013, He is one man to watch from the South West should he decide not to go for a second term as governor. He is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic party PDP. Born December 25,1967.
South East Front Runners.
Dave Nweze Umahi, currently serving his second term as governor of Ebonyi State.He is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic party PDP Born July 25,1963.
Orji Uzor Kalu, currently serving as senator in the 9th Assembly.He was the governor of Abia State between 1999 and 2007.businesman, Chairman of Slok Holding, Daily Sun and New Telegraph Newspapers.Kalu has never left anyone in doubt of his interest in ruling the Nigerian Nation. He is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress APC and the rallying point of the APC in the South East his home and Office are a beehive of activities since Court let him off EFCC ‘s hook. He is also seen as a man with the financial muscle that is set to go far should the South East become coordinated and present a formidable front. Born April 21,1960.
Geoffrey Jideofor Kwusike Onyema,A serving Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, member of the All Progressives Congress APC.Born February 2,1956,in Enugu He is not a recycled politician,a soft speaking diplomat whose achievements are said to have the villa’s endorsement.
Rochas Anayo Okorocha,A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress APC and Serving Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District in the 9th Assembly,He was goveror of Imo State between 2011 and 2019. Born September 22,1962,.He is one of the politicians in the South East who has not hidden his desire to occupy the number one office in the land his supporters are defiant of mounting allegations against him by the EFCC dismissing them as “mere rantings”
Front Runners in South South.
Rotimi Amaechi,, currently serving Federal Minister of Transportation, earned a nickname Railway ” “Minister” as a result of his passion for smooth delivery of railway transportation for ease of transport across the country.A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress APC, who is said to have courted the friendship across political and ethnic divides. He served as governor of Rivers State between 2007 and 2015 ,As governor,he was chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum,He was Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly between 1999 and 2007 ,He also earned the position of Speaker, conference of Nigerian House of Assembly Speakers.Born May 27,1965 in Port Harcourt. He is believed to be the rallying point of APC in the South South.His supporters who spoke to current matters say has the credentials understanding of the politics of Nigeria.
Obarisi Ovie Omo-Agege is the Deputy Senate President of the 9th Assembly,and representing Delta Central He was first elected to the Senate in 2015 and is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress. Born August 3,1963.politicsl analyts say his rise to political stardom is accelerated and he is one man to watch
Nyesom Ezenwo Wike,serving his second term as governor of the oil rich Rivers State.He was a Minister of State for Education, and served as Chief of Staff to Amaechi.His supporters believe he is one man to watch .
Godswill Obot Akpabio, lawyer, and serving Miinister of the Ministry of the Niger Delta Affairs,He was Senator for a term and was the Senate Minority leader in the 8th Assembly. He served as governor of Akwa Ibom State between 2007 and 2015. Born December 19,1962. He is one man his admirers say has the financial muscle to have his way given the amount of Funds at the disposal of his Ministry and Parastatals under his watch.He is also said not to have hidden his interest for the number one job.
Timipre Sylva is currently serving as Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.He was governor of Bayelsa State Born July 7,1964, in Brass, Bayelsa State.Timipre is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress APC,A Man his supporters say have the credentials and good to watch.