Alex Kadiri, a former senator and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has said Nigeria needs an individual who is strong and healthy as its next president in 2023, instead of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the APC National Leader.
Kadiri, who represented Kogi East Senatorial District from 1999 to 2003, said this in an interview with journalists in Abuja on Sunday.
There have been speculations about a potential 2023 presidential bid by Tinubu, a former two-term governor of Lagos State and an influential leader of the ruling APC.
However, the APC National Leader has been in the United Kingdom for weeks where he is reportedly recuperating after a purported health procedure. Several politicians from the ruling party, including President Muhammadu Buhari, have stormed London, the UK’s capital, to visit him.
But Kadiri insisted that the country should not have another president who may potentially have health issues to govern it after experiencing the same with President Buhari.
According to the APC chieftain, Nigeria needs a vibrant individual who can move around and monitor things as its next president.
The former lawmaker subsequently recommended Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, to be the next president in two years time.
He said: “Whether you like it or not, Rotimi Amaechi still stands as a viable person. He has the experience, and good health. Anybody we are considering today as President must be healthy. We can’t move from Yar’ Adua (Umaru) to Buhari (Muhammadu) and then to Tinubu (Bola). If Amaechi and Zulum can put their acts together, this country can move forward.”
Kadiri also said all prospective presidential aspirants from his region, the North Central zone, should perish the thought of succeeding President Buhari in 2023, saying there is nobody of substance from the zone to occupy the office.
He stated that power must return to southern Nigeria but ruled out the South-East region from vying for the office, even though his wife hails from Eastern Nigeria.
“I am a recognized leader in the North- Central. They invite me to all their meetings. There is nobody of substance who has the capacity to be President from North Central in 2023. Please, prove me wrong and bring that person. At my age, I am not looking for anything from anybody. I am not looking for work. I can only speak my mind now.
“Olusegun Obasanjo was President of Nigeria for eight years. Now Yemi Osinbajo is Vice President and in 2023, he would have spent eight years. I think for the sake of fairness, it is only right and proper for the people of the South-West to shelve the idea of producing the President.
“North-West should also forget it. The South-Easterners are my in-laws and there are more Igbos coming to this house than any other tribe in Nigeria because of my wife.
“So, I cannot have ill feelings towards an Igbo man. The fact of the matter is that Igbos with their republican attitude to everything can’t be President of Nigeria this present time (2023).”