From Tunde Omolehin, Sokoto
Former governor of Sokoto state, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa has said the clamouring for rotation of the position of presidency between North and South regions has remained the country’s political mistake.
He said, rather than having political cohesion through practice, it has always caused tension, bringing mistrust and threat of restructuring or secession among Nigerians.
In a statement he personally signed and made available to Journalists in Sokoto state on Sunday, the former governor said it is high time that politicians pipe down on such political issues and concentrate mainly on the issue of good governance to move the country forward.
The Sokoto-born politician further warned Nigerians to henceforth be wary of making any comments bordering on the issue of zoning or rotation of the position of President to any part of the country.
His words: “For a long time now, such agitation are getting increasingly strident to the extent that they are causing politicians and social commentators to add their voices to the issue and in many respects misplacing priorities as regard to what crucially affects our dear country.
“To my knowledge, first as a Nigerian politician with considerable political and governmental experiences, I did not know when and how anybody in the country has arrived at zoning the position of the President to any zone, whether to the South or to North.
“I have no faintest idea that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) or even the ruling party, the All Progressive Congress (APC) has made any proclamation to the effect that the position of President is zoned to a particular section of the country.
“In recent time, such a sensitive issue along with other similar issues are either being canvassed or deliberately touted thereby causing a lot of political tension and widening the gap of our common unity of the country.
“It was high time that our politicians pipe down on such political issues and concentrate mainly on the issue of good governance so that our country would eventually breath some peace and tranquility.” Bafarawa stated.
He however urged politicians across tribal and regional divides to come together for the common good of the country, saying; “We should do everything possible at our disposal to contribute our quota towards peace and security of the country.”
He admitted that the country is been faced with insecurity challenges such as Boko haram, armed banditry, kidnapping, threat for secession, slow economic growth resulting from increased level of poverty as well as clamouring for a division.
Bafarawa noted that such challenges are important issues that call for considerable degree of attention not only by the government but also by both political and traditional classes.
He further said the idea of having peace and peaceful existence in this country should be our watchword rather than advocacy calling for zoning or secession in the midst of severe unwarranted challenges affecting the country.
“At this crucial period of time when the country is enmeshed in various challenges, I use this opportunity to offer advise to our politicians as well as our numerous socio-political commentators spread across the country to delve less in politics and instead offer more constructive advise on how best the government could get the country out of this mess.
“Our advise should be centered on offering solutions to solve the problems of insecurity as well as solution to our economic problems so that we could douse the tensed atmosphere brought about by the present predicament of insecurity, and similar problems.
“I have the hope and confidence that by the time our politicians and social commentators talk less about rotational or zoning of Presidency to zones or regions thus concentrating on substantial issues affecting the country, there would be less tension and or hypes which further divide the country along regional, religious and tribal lines.” He further stated.