From Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
A pressure group in the Kebbi State All Progressives Congress (APC) advocating for power rotation has urged state Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu to ‘institutionalise power rotation’ in the state.
The spokesman of the group, Alhaji Abdullahi Muhammad Lamba, who stated this while speaking with reporters in Birnin Kebbi, explained that since Kebbi Centre senatorial district has been ruling the state since 1999, it is high time the governorship be shifted to Kebbi North or South in 2023.
‘We are calling on our Excellency, Executive Governor of Kebbi State, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, to come forward and shoulder this responsibility, make it a state policy of power rotation. If he does this, the people of the state will never forget him,’ Lamba said.
‘As a good friend of our governor, who wants good things for him and wants him to succeed, I strongly advise our governor to institutionalise power rotation in Kebbi State. The power should shift from Kebbi Centre to Kebbi North and to Kebbi South. We are not saying the power will remain in one particular senatorial district, it should be rotational just like what is happening in Sokoto and Niger states.’
Lamba noted that when President Muhammadu Buhari finishes his tenure, the power in the party will shift from the North West to a different zone.
He cited Sokoto and Niger states which have been practicing power rotation since 1999, indicating that the issue are not new in Nigeria politics.
According to him, ‘power rotation has been in practice in Nigeria for a long time and you and I know that Nigeria is divided into six geo-political zones. We are also a living witness to how Chief Olusegun Obasanjo became President of Nigeria from the South West region of Nigeria in 1999 and he ruled Nigeria for eight years.
‘After that, he handed over to late Alhaji Musa Umar Ya’Adua of blessed memory from the northern region. But, unfortunately, his life was cut short and he passed away. Thereafter, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan took over, who is from South-South geopolitical zone of the country. This shifting of the Presidency to different zones of Nigeria will show you that what we are calling for, power rotation, is not a new thing in the Nigeria system. The power shifted from South West to North West and to South-South and now to North West.
‘Again, if you take our sister state like Sokoto State, Alhaji Attairu Bafarawa was the Governor of Sokoto State for eight years from Sokoto North Senatorial district from 1999-2007 and he was succeeded by Alhaji Muhammadu Magawatta from Sokoto Centre Senatorial district. After eight years, he was replaced by Governor Aminu Bello Tambuwa from Sokoto South Senatorial District. And, God permit, by the time Tambuwal will finish his eight years tenure by 2023, the governorship will go back to Sokoto North senatorial district.
‘I have just told you the situation of a state in our right wing. On our left wing, we have Niger State. Late Abubakar Kure of blessed memory was the Governor from 1999 to 2007 from Zone A. And Babagida Aliu took over from Zone B, and he also served for eight years. Today, Zone C is in control under the able leadership of Abubakar Sani Bello. If he finishes his tenure, the power will go back to Zone A.
‘So, this is not a new thing that some people are trying to jeopardise it. Our target is to ensure power rotation is respected in Kebbi State. We are not targeting anybody, we are not witch hunting anybody.
‘Again, Nigeria is divided into six zones, not because of anything but because of politics. Let us even look at the 36 states in Nigeria. Kano State, with 44 Local Government Areas, has only three senators. Bayelsa State, with eight Local Government Areas, is also producing three senators. If they get to the Red Chamber, anyone of them could become Senate President, Deputy Senate President, leaders, depending on the policy adopted by the Senate, regardless of the state they are from.
‘Our target is that we want changes in Kebbi State. Let us join our people at the federation level on power rotation, in Nigeria as a whole,’ he said.
He urged youth groups, which are also agitating for credible candidates, to join them to ensure that the best governorship candidate emerges from Kebbi North or Kebbi South senatorial district in 2023.