Alhaji Yerima Shettima, president of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF)has declared that Nigeria should consider competence ahead of zoning in the 2023 presidential election.
Shettima declared that the country should be ready to move away from the practice where a small group of people or politicians decide which zone leaders will emerge from.
He added that the citizens of Nigeria should be allowed to express their free will in choosing their own leaders rather than been boxed into a corner by certain ‘gentleman agreement’ by political parties.
Naija News recalls ahead of the 2023 presidential election in Nigeria, there are ongoing debates about who and which region will produce the next president to take over from President Muhammadu Buhari.
Recently, Mamman Daura, President Buhari’s nephew also submitted that competence should be allowed to prevail over zoning in the 2023 presidential election.
The south-east region has however declared that in the spirit of fairness, Igbo presidency should be supported by other regions in 2023.
However, Shettima, who was quoted by Daily Trust to have spoken during a chat with journalists in Lagos on the sidelines of a summit of leaders of ethnic nationalities in Nigeria, has also declared support for competence ahead of zoning.
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.
“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.”