Anthony Sani, former Secretary-General of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), has said zoning or rotation of the office of the president was sold to Nigeria, and not a national consensus.
Sani made the statement on Thursday, in response to clamour that power be zoned to the South-east region in 2023.
He noted that former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, introduced zoning when he imposed Yar’Adua as his successor, but did not last.
The former ACF secretary-general pointed out that the subject is an idea of politics of identity and a winning game plan.
He noted that majority of presidential candidates in the 2019 election were from the south, despite the fact that the incumbent, President Muhammadu Buhari, who wanted a second term, is from the north.
He said: “I find it curious when some groups like Ohanaeze would say that President Buhari was a product of national consensus on zoning or rotation of position of president to the North. The fact of history says no to that.
“I agree that the annulment of elections of June 12, 1993, morally blackmailed the nation into fielding General Obasanjo of PDP and Chief Olu Falai of AD/APP in 1999 to make up for the annulment and death of the winner, Chief MKO Abiola.
“I also agree that President Obasanjo wanted to enthrone politics of zoning and rotation when he foisted President Yar’Adua on the nation.
“But this did not last because apart from General Buhari’s bid in 2003 against President Obasanjo which was against letter and spirit of zoning/rotation, President Jonathan from the South contested against President Buhari from the North not only in 2011 but also in 2015.
“In 2019, of about 76 presidential candidates, about 70 were southerners. All these shows there is no national consensus on rotation and zoning that is binding on political parties.
“Therefore, it is either the proponents of politics of identity symbolised by rotation and zoning make it a law or they design a winning game plan and sell to the nation to secure their needed electoral mandate.