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North must produce Buhari’s successor, says Bala Mohammed

3 min read

Bala-Mohammed-Bauchi State Governor.

Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State is not swayed by arguments in favour of presidential power shift to the South next year as he insists that the North must produce President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor.

Another Northerner, according to him, should be in the saddle in 2023 “as Nigeria’s presidency is not for any section of the country but for everyone.”

But the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Prof George Obiozor, says Nigeria stands the risk of inviting a fresh round of national crisis  should zoning be discarded  ahead of the  presidential election.

Obiozor, a former Nigerian Ambassador to the United States, told The Nation that it would be morally unacceptable  for any geo-political zone other that the Southeast to seek the presidency in 2023.

Mohammed, who is interested in the presidency himself, spoke in Bauchi on Friday evening while receiving a situation report from  the  Contact and Consultation Committee  he set up for his presidential ambition.

He claimed that the agitation for power shift to the South applies only to Buhari’s party –All Progressives Congress (APC).

He said: “I want to let all Nigerians, especially those clamouring for the 2023 presidency to go to the South, that it is the turn of the North to produce the next president.

“We are aware of the agitations of the southern part of the country because the leader of the country today, President Muhammadu Buhari, who is from the North, will finish his tenure in 2023, so power should rotate to the South.

“But I want to say that I am in PDP, I am not in APC. It is the APC that has this burden of zoning the presidency to the South.

“In my party, the last President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, was from the South and he was my President.

“During this period, my party was at the centre for 16 years; 14 of those years were led by people from the South, so where is the justice and the justification?

“Therefore, it is the turn of the North to produce the next President.”

Says Atiku qualifies to be president but age no longer on his side

Mohammed also spoke on the presidential aspiration of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, saying that while the Adamawa born politician has all it takes to rule Nigeria, age is not on his side.

He said: ”There was a time we invited our elder statesman to Bauchi; the one we respect so much in the whole of Nigeria, and in the Northeast; the Waziri of Adamawa.

“We interacted and I told him I know he is the most senior among us and he is very qualified. But because of his age and fatigue, having suffered so much for Nigeria, he should allow his younger brother.

“Though I’m not desperate about it, he should know Nigerians like me too. I’m ready to put my weight behind him though if he later emerges the party flag bearer.”

Mohammed said he needed more time for wider consultations with critical stakeholders in the PDP and other stakeholders across the country on his ambition.

Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the Contact Committee, Senator Adamu Ibrahim Gumba, advised Mohammed to discuss with Atiku so that one of them could step down for the other since they are both from the Northeast.

He claimed that PDP members backed the idea that the next President of Nigeria should come from the North, adding that the Northeast and Northcentral are the most qualified regions of the country because they have not produced an elected President in the history of the country.

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