GOVERNOR Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State has distanced himself from those advocating for the zoning of the presidency to the southern half of the country in 2023 saying Nigerians should elect the best person for the job irrespective of where they are from.
With 2023 fast approaching, jostling for the presidency has already begun, with the southeast geo-political zone in particular, insisting that it is its turn to produce the next president. Although not constitutional, Nigeria’s component parts have a gentleman’s agreement that the presidency will rotate between the north and the south of the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure will end in 2023 and being a Fulani northern Muslim, it is expected that the next president will come from southern Nigeria. Since the return to democracy in 1999, the southwest has produced President Olusegun Obasanjo and the south-south President Goodluck Jonathan, so come 2023, the presidency should automatically go to the southeast.
Over recent weeks, transport minister Rotimi Amaechi and works and housing minister Babatunde Fashola, have both come out to urge their party the All Progressives Congress (APC), to respect the zoning formula. They both described the zoning formula as being at the core of the agreement reached by APC founding fathers, prior to the 2015 elections.
However, Governor Fayemi, the chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, said that he is not an advocate of zoning. According to Governor Fayemi, he is strongly of the view that excellent Nigerians come from all parts of Nigeria and there is no place where qualified and purpose-driven leaders cannot be found.
Governor Fayemi said he understands why those who feel marginalised are clamouring for a Southeast Presidency come 2023. However, he added that there is no reason why candidates from all parts of Nigeria will not partake in the primaries when the stage is set in 2023.
“In a country that is multicultural, multi-religious and multi-ethnic, one of the equilibrating mechanisms is to ensure that those in leadership represent the mosaic that the country is,” Governor Fayemi added. On 2014, Governor Fayemi was in charge of the APC primaries from which President Buhari emerged the winner.