John Adams, Minna
As Nigerians continue to react to the recent comment credited to Elder statesman, Mallam Mamman Daura on the zoning of Presidency come 2023, former governor of Niger state, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu has said that Mamman Daura’s comment was just a suggestion of a way out after over 20 years of experiment of a system.
The former governor who spoke to newsmen in Minna on Saturday said after going through the statement credited to Mamman Daura, he (Aliyu) believed that he (Daura) should not be crucified “because it is obvious that after over 20 years of experiment, the zoning arrangements has failed to produce the desire result”.
While defending Daura’s position on zoning, Aliyu said “I think what he is saying is that after over 20 years, has the zoning rarely produced the best for the country, in the process are we not just producing a northern president, a southern president or a possible south east president”.
Former governor Aliyu who is a member of Board of Trustee (BoT) of the opposition People Democratic Party (PDP) pointed out that “Whatever system you have, you have an objective to achieve. After over 20 years of zoning arrangements, have we rarely produced the best for the country.
“We had zoning from 1999 to date because we wanted unity and we wanted every part of the country to have sense of belonging. We want Nigeria as one, so the zoning makes it obvious that everybody will be able to participate but has it given us what we wanted.
“For me I think Mamman Daura is simply saying you have had zoning three times, why don’t we look at something else, shouldn’t we move to another stage and see what happens because if you said it is my turn, it doesn’t rarely make you look for that thing”.
Aliyu believes that Mamman Daura’s comment on zoning should not generate unnecessary bickering because Its like flying a kite, adding that “whether you zone it or not, election is about the number of votes you are able to gather, so let the people determine what happens in 2023.
“To me I think the society should determine what they want and how to get it.”
While further justifying the position of Daura, Aliyu disclosed that “In US today two contagious states have produced both the president and the Vice President because they have reach that level to say we don’t need that zoning, let the best come from anywhere”, admitting however that though it is not a one day thing.
He nonetheless exercised some cautions that no one can be too sure of the competent that we are looking for because according to him, “it is not the process itself that is just competent, it is the honesty of the people”.
“The competent that we are looking for, which ever way you go about it, one ma want to ask, are they rarely looking for competent leaders or they are looking for somebody they can bend or somebody they can manipulate”, he submitted.
It could be recalled that Mamman Daura, an elder statesman and nephew to President Muhammadu Buhari, had in an interview with BBC Hausa Service dismissed the issue of zoning and rotation of the nation’s presidency.
Mamman Daura had argued that competence, not geography, should determine the next president of Nigeria in 2023, stressing that “This turn-by-turn, it was done once, it was done twice, and it was done thrice… It is better for this country to be one…it should be for the most competent and not for someone who comes from somewhere.”
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