Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State echoed calls for a transfer of power to the south of the country, supporting the Southern Governors’ Forum resolution on zoning the presidential seat in 2023.
Southern governors had at a meeting in Lagos on Monday agreed that the region should produce Nigeria’s next president based on the principles of fairness and justice, a claim also corroborated by Zulum.
“I have said many times that I, Professor Babagana Zulum, am of the opinion that the presidency should go to the south in 2023 because the unity of our country is very important,” the governor said in a statement. interview on TV Channels Sunrise every day Wednesday.
âSecond, inclusiveness is very important. Third, I am in the APC. Six or seven years ago, APC zoned the presidency to northern Nigeria on the basis of an agreement that in 2023 the presidency should go south.
The governor admitted that the southern rulers have the right to call for a transfer of power in the region, but blamed those who insist the area must produce the next Nigerian ruler.
âBut again, this is politics. We are supposed to meet and discuss this issue among ourselves, among the political class, âhe explained, calling for caution so as not to overheat politics as the 2023 elections approach.
“This statement that people say the president has to go south, I want them to delete the word must.”
He also refuted speculations that his stance on zoning was due to his political interests.
“And I’ve said it before, I’m not interested in becoming the vice president of the country, nor the president of the nation but I want to say the right thing,” Zulum added, doubling down on his previous position.
A hotly debated policy
Since the return to democracy in 1999, Nigeria has had an unwritten agreement for the rotation of power between the largely Muslim northern region and the Christian-dominated south.
The arrangement, often referred to as “zoning,” continues to spark intense debate among the country’s political leaders.
Critics believe politics is outdated, undermines democracy, and bends to ethno-religious sentiments.
âThis, for me, is not something to be confused with. I firmly believe that excellent Nigerians come from all parts of Nigeria, âsaid Kayode Fayemi, Governor of South West State, Ekiti. âThere’s nowhere you look for qualified, motivated leaders that you won’t find. “
But advocates of the zoning principle argue that the power-sharing agreement has helped strengthen unity among regions in Africa’s most populous nation.