Fred Itua, Abuja
Senator Shehu Sani has revealed how the North may retain power beyond 2023 when the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari would have expired.
Sani who represented Kaduna Central in the Eight Senate, said the widening crack in Southern Nigeria, particularly between Igbo and Yoruba, will be exploited by Northern leaders to retain power. Sani spoke when he appeared as a guest of FCT Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in Abuja yesterday.
He said politicians from Northern part of the country leading the debate that the next president should be elected based on merit, are plotting to exploit the pending crack between the South East and South West.
He also advised the two leading political parties in the country to zone the position of the president to the South and allow its leaders to decide which political zone should produce the president.
Sani, while responding to questions, urged Southern leaders to set aside their differences and take a common position on the issue.
He said: “I have been making a case and will not stop that power should be returned to the South when the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari expires in 2020.
“I think that is the right thing to do in the interest of equity. Those advocating power should remain in the North and relying on the demographics should know that they didn’t get power through the same means in 2015.
“The only thing that will give power to the North will be if leaders from the South East and South West are unable to have a common ground. Once that division is there, it will be easy for the North to retain power and that’s what they are banking on.
“I can’t stay here and advocate that power should either be shifted to the South West or the South East. Let the leaders decide that. Otherwise, those praying that there should be a crack will succeed in the end.
“I also think that two interesting things will happen. If power is ceded to the South East, it will finally signal the end of the Civil War and that will be good for the country and everyone.
“If power is shifted to the South West, the North would have rewarded their loyalty. Both options are okay. But if we look at the whole picture, which geopolitical zone in Nigeria has not produced a president before? That should guide us.” He dismissed claims that Bola Tinubu has approached him to lead his 2023 presidential campaign in the North West. He said as much as he respects Tinubu, discussions like that have not been held.