Mallam Nasir El-Rufai


Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, has kicked against the idea of zoning ahead of 2023 presidential election, arguing that rotational presidency has only kept Nigeria stagnant.

The Kaduna governor’s comments are coming on the heels of the insistence by former Lagos State Governor and current Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, that the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) must respect the “gentleman agreement” they had in 2015 and zone its presidential candidate to the South, perhaps with South West in mind, in 2023.

el-Rufai who is believed to be interested in seeking power in 2023, argued at the Nigerian Economic Summit on Wednesday, that irrespective of the logic behind rotating political positions in the country, the system should be done away with and focus redirected to sourcing for the best hands across the board.

“There is no country in the world that has made progress in the last 50 years that rotates its leaders. I do not believe that we should be driven in our politics and economics by distribution whether or not there is a logic behind it,” el-Rufai said.

“I think we should move away from this fixation about distribution to selecting or picking the best person to get the job done. Right now, we are distributing this and we are not making any progress.”

This represents another turn around by the governor who had about three months ago, argued in favour of power rotation to the South, having originally said what mattered was competence.

His comments comes amid heightened calls for the ruling APC and opposition PDP to narrow the search for President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor to the Southern part of the country.

Only few days ago, Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi defected to the ruling party, arguing that it is likely to zone its presidential candidate to the South and likely Southeast.