From Segun Amure, (The New Diplomat’s Abuja Bureau)
The senator representing Kano Central Senatorial District in the Senate, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau has called on the leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to base its decision on the choice of presidential candidate for the 2023 elections on leadership quality, competence and character and not zoning.
According to the former Kano state governor, ” there is no place in the APC constitution that the issue of zoning is mentioned”, stressing that the matter of zoning of political offices is not captured in the party’s constitution.
Shekarau said Nigeria has got to get things right in her political system. “All we need is quality leadership, fairness and justice to all, and carrying everyone along; that is what is called balancing of equation,” he added.
It would be recalled the issue of zoning has been a subject of serious controversial debate within the ruling APC and in the Nigerian political landscape in recent months.
For instance, a former Lagos state governor and current minister of Works, Mr Babatunde Fashola recently said there was an agreement about zoning among the top leadership of the APC in 2015.
Fashola had cautioned the party against jettisoning the gentleman arrangement as reached by APC founding fathers.
He said: “The truth is that what makes an agreement spectacular is the honour in which it is made, not whether it is written. If it was written, there would be no court cases of breach of contract because it’s a document that is written and signed that go to court.
“The private agreement you make with your brother and sister should not be breached. It must be honoured.” Fashola added.
However, Shekerau in his statement debunked such claims. According to the Senator, the APC constitution never made any reference to zoning or what some people term rotational presidency.
The APC stalwart made the assertion on Sunday during an interactive session with journalists in Kano State.
Shekarau said: “I want to tell you that there is no place in the APC constitution that the issue of zoning is mentioned. I think it is only being considered by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
According to Shekarau, for Nigeria to get things right in her political system, “All we need is quality leadership, fairness and justice to all, and carrying everyone along; that is what is called balancing of equation,” he said.
The former governor further affirmed that his party prioritises quality leadership above zoning, saying “I want to tell you that there is no place in the APC constitution that the issue of zoning is mentioned. I think it is only being considered by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).”
On his relationship with Kano Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje and former Governor Rabiu Kawankwaso, Shekarau said there was no rift between him and the duo.
“I and Ganduje have been together for so many years. When I was the Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Office then, he was a commissioner, and we used to interact a lot.” He said.