Nigeria: Shekarau Advocates Political Power Shift to South

Ibrahim Shekarau says political power shift is necessary for all Nigerians to have a sense of belonging.

A former governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, has urged the All Progressive Congress (APC) to field a southerner as its presidential candidate in 2023.

Mr Shekarau, who is a serving senator, spoke in an interview with BBC Hausa Service on Wednesday. He said the idea is to ensure justice and fairness.

According to him, although rotational presidency is not written in APC's constitution, he believes it is desirable for justice and fairness.

"For instance, the present six geopolitical zones are not reflected in Nigeria's constitution, but it is a good arrangement. You cannot implement any policy in Nigeria without taking geopolitical zones into consideration.

"This is also the same with rotating the presidency between the North and the South. If we ignore power shift, we are not being fair to ourselves and we are not fair to history. In my opinion, power shift is necessary for all Nigerians to have a sense of belonging.

"I am of the opinion that, we should exercise patience and bring our brothers from the South close to us.

"You see, the North alone cannot produce the votes enough for the president. Likewise the South, it is only when we come together. My believe is not only geopolitical regions, there is no state in the federation that does not have a competent person to lead this country.

"Violating this arrangement will further divide Nigerians. Some will feel neglected or rejected," Mr Shekarau said.

On the possibility of the opposition party fielding a northern candidate, the politician said both the PDP and APC face the same dilemma. "Each is trying to outsmart the other.

"My advice to the parties (APC and PDP) is they should not look at zoning from political exploitation, but what should be just and fair. Fair play and competence of the candidate should be the be the guiding principle," he said.

Commenting on the defection of some politicians to the APC, Mr Shekarau described it as a remarkable success worthy of celebration.

He said: "within the last two months, two governors have defected to APC. It is quite a success. There are also groups and individuals who joined the party.

"However, there is a need to conduct congresses and elect party officials from the ward to national levels. There is also a need to set up a modality of how to spread political appointments across the country."

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