Igbo Should Produce President In 2023 – Shehu Sani

Senator Shehu Sani, who was until recently representing Kaduna Central at the National Assembly, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to resist the temptation of excluding any part of the country in key appointments because they did not vote for him in the last election or supported the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Senator Sani said it was only natural to allow an Igbo president in 2023 because the north had had its fair share of controlling power more than any other region in the over 50 years of nationhood.

Shehu Sani’s advice may not be unconnected with recent reports credited to the chairman of Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, Mallam Shettima Yerima, who insisted that the north would still produce president in 2023.

Excluding any part of Nigeria in the scheme of things for whatsoever reasons, he argued, amounted to simply fuelling the already tensed situation and igniting anarchy which, if fully set, would spare no one, including those in position of authority.

Comrade Sani, in an interview after delivering a key note address at a one day youth awareness forum, ‘Niger Open Forum’, organised by The Blue Revolutionaries (TBR) over the weekend, warned of dire consequences of blacklisting any part of the country.

He said: “Appointments into key positions – every region must be carried along; doing anything on the contrary means simply feeding the anarchy, feeding secessionists, feeding the merchant of crisis in this country.”

President Buhari, he said, must give a sense of belonging to every segment of the country.

“If you exclude the Eastern or the South South part of the country, or even the North Central part of Nigeria because they didn’t vote for you, you are simply feeding anarchy, feeding the secessionists, feeding the merchant of crisis in this country.

“It is expected that when you win elections under any party platform, you are for everybody. We have a pattern in this country where people are excluded and marginalised out of government on the basis that their ethnic or religious group did not vote for the government in power, that is very dangerous,” Senator Sani said.

He added: “After elections, you need a country to rule and you cannot rule one part and abandon the others, so that is my view.”

He also warned that it would amount to laying land mines by any attempt to deny the South East the presidency in 2023, saying the north had had its fair share under President Muhammadu Buhari.

“My position is that the north has had its own fair share of leadership under President Muhammadu Buhari. Anybody who is saying power should remain in the north even after Buhari is simply laying a land mine for Nigeria’s destruction,” he said.

Although he said it was premature to start talking about who succeeds President Buhari in 2023, Senator Sani reminded those championing the continued possession of power by any northern candidate after the current dispensation that what keeps a nation together is equity, fairness, and justice for all.

“There is the need for us to understand that it is not simply about winning elections that keeps a nation, it is about being able to stabilise and balance all the forces that make us as a people,” he stated.

On the delay by President Buhari in constituting the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and other key appointments, Sani said: “I think he should not repeat the mistake of 2015; the most important thing for him now should be to pick his cabinet without further delay.

“There should be no excuses again over failure to perform in the sense that Buhari now has all the ample opportunity.”

Sani commended President Buhari for his decision not to consult state governors before picking his ministers.

He said: “From available report, the president is going to appoint his ministers based on merit and not recommendations from state governors, and this, to me, is quite commendable.

“This is because he has a legacy to leave behind; when things go wrong, it is about Muhammadu Buhari, and if it goes right, is about him.

“Experience has shown that state governors don’t send names of competent people, they send their loyalists and they send people who are not going to say anything to them and who are not going to outshine them.

“Unfortunately they don’t own up to failures of the kinds of people they send, so the president should form a cabinet of people who are capable, competent, and patriotic.

“I’m happy with the president’s decision, because if no governor consults him before appointing commissioners in their respective states, then it shouldn’t be compulsory for the president to consult any governor before appointing ministers he is going to work with.”


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