Ahead of the 2023 presidential election, President of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), Alhaji Yerima Shetima, has rejected the agitation for the zoning of the number one position.
According to him, competency and not zoning is his concern.
Shetima said this in Lagos in a chat with journalists on the sidelines of a summit of leaders of ethnic nationalities in Nigeria.
Daily Trust reports that there has been agitation for the zoning of the Presidency to the South after the expiration of the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Shetima’s remarks followed the same line of thought with President Buhari’s nephew, Mamman Daura, who recently said competency and not zoning should be the consideration in electing Buhari’s successor.
His comments, however, drew flaks especially from stakeholders in the South who saw them as a subtle agitation for tenure extension for the North.
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But Shetima, speaking on the same thrust said all regions of the country should bring their competent people to the table when the time comes to elect a President.
He said: “Some of us have a belief that this is about the country where all of us have a stake. But we are also saying that those days are over where any political party or any individual or group of people will just sit down on their own and bring about what is called, ‘a gentleman agreement’ into the fold.
“We are more concerned about competency in the country. It could come from the South-East, South-South, South-West or anywhere, we are looking at competency, not zonal arrangement. It is not constitutional and it can’t be binding on anybody. It cannot survive the test of time certainly. We are going to look at competency when the time comes.
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“Certainly it is not about zoning. We warn even the political parties that they shouldn’t bother themselves looking for any zoning arrangement, that will really spell doom. We have come of age, we won’t take that. This is when you begin to see certain characters that are not even competent occupying the political space leaving the competent people out of the game.
“Let every region bring their competent people and come to the table. Let us display, it is about voting. We run a constitutional democracy where people have right to contest, nobody will be stopped to contest but at the end of the day, majority will decide and the minority will have a say.”