Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, yesterday, clarified the position of the northern governors over the power shift controversy, saying that his colleagues in the north were alarmed that their southern counterparts could use the word “must” in their agitation for power shift to the south after President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure in 2023.
Governor el-Rufai stated that the word “must” was at variance with democracy, which was characterized by negotiations and horse-trading by parties involved, often away from the public glare.
According to him, he and some other northern governors had earlier called for 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.”
In a chat with the media, Tuesday night, Governor El-Rufai pointed out that the media misrepresented the resolution of the Northern Governors’ Forum meeting which held on Monday, on power shift and reminded that, “The north has supported southern presidential aspirants in the past”, adding that they “supported Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s aspiration in 1999 and his re-election in 2003.”
El-Rufai said that the governors of the southern states should have reached out to their northern colleagues, in the spirit of political horse-trading, rather than playing to the gallery.
Meanwhile, a group, styled as the Southern and Middle-Belt Alliance (SaMBA), has described as inflammatory, the resolution of the Northern Governors Forum (NGF) over power rotation, saying such statement was capable of fueling secessionist agitations in the country.
In a statement released by its spokesperson, Rwang Pam Jnr., SAMBA stressed that although there was no express provision for zoning in the Constitution, Section 14(3) explicitly provides for distribution of offices in the composition of government in the country and therefore disapproves of any attempt by any region to dominate other regions.
SaMBA, therefore, warned the Northern Governors Forum that any further attempt to want to retain power in 2023 would defeat the purpose of a united Nigeria where every man and region’s right to rule was equal, and would endanger the already fragile unity of the country.