Kogi governor, Yahaya Bello on Thursday tackled those who have been insisting on observance of zoning for choosing the next president of Nigeria.
The Governor who has declared that he will run for presidency in 2023 spoke to reporters after a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at Aso Rock presidential villa Abuja.
Last week leaders of the Southern and Middle-Belt leaders forum led by Chief Edwin Clark had argued that on the basis of zoning, the successor of President Muhammadu Buhari should come from the Southern part of the country.
President Buhari is from Katsina State in Northwest Nigeria.
The Clark led group had asked the two Nigeria’s main parties, the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to ensure that they choose their presidential candidate from the Southern part of the country.
Some leaders of APC and PDP have also been calling for zoning of the presidential ticket of their party for 2023 to the Southern part of the country.
But Governor Bello, a member of the ruling APC dismissed such calls while arguing that competence and capacity should be the criteria for the 2023 polls and not ethnicity should be the chief criteria for choosing the next president of Nigeria.
He said: “For once let’s get Nigeria fixed. We have practiced as seemingly rotational presidencies since 1999 to date, let us evaluate our successes or achievements from this seeming rotational presidency between then, and now.
“Why don’t we simply go for the best after all, we copy this democracy from America and some of the developed world, how many of these countries are practicing traditional presidency?
“You see, we are where we are today not because we are practicing rotational presidency.
“ If you want to go by that rotational presidency, then do perfect zoning. Go by perfect rotation. And if you go by rotation and whichever way you come from, I don’t think you should exclude where I come from.
That’s number one. “Number two, let us get a credible, sincere, patriotic, Nigeria to fix it. If you’re flying an aircraft, you don’t ask who is the pilot?
“If you take the operation in a hospital, you wouldn’t ask which doctor is this, is he from your zone, your tribe, your religion, all you want is the best pilot to fly you safely to your destination.
“All you want is you want the best doctor to handle you and deliver you safely from the operation.
“I think Nigeria is at that point now of seeking the best from anywhere in this country, irrespective of where he comes from.
Thereafter, you balance you remain in position to reflect equity, fairness and justice. That is my position.”