Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna has clarified the position of the Northern Governors Forum on power shift.
At a meeting in Kaduna on Monday, the governors had said the rotational presidency was against Nigeria’s constitution.
They said this in reaction to the demand of their Southern counterparts who have demanded that their region must produce Nigeria’s next president.
In a chat with select journalists, El-Rufai said no one should assume that they can sit in Lagos or Port Harcourt and decide what the north should do or who the north should vote for.
He said if the south wants power, it should be prepared to sit with the north, dialogue and negotiate then agree on who should be voted but not use compulsion to demand power shift.
“We are not saying there cannot be rotational presidency, it can be done but you have to come and sit with the politicians in the north and dialogue and then we agree to give our support to the south but no one has the right to sit in Lagos or Port Harcourt and say whether northerners want it or not, they must relinquish power to the south, that is wrong, it is not how we do politics and in fact, it is foolish.”
Newsmen report that El-Rufai was one of the first governors to suggest a power shift to the south.
In 2020, he had said it would be in the interest of fairness and unity for the north to relinquish power to the south after eight years under President Muhammadu Buhari.
Buhari’s second tenure will end in 2023.
After El-Rufai, similar statements have been made by other northern governors such as Babagana Umara Zulu of Borno State, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State and Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State.
However, some of the governors were part of the meeting of the Northern States Governor’s Forum in Kaduna on Monday.