The lawmaker representing Borno South District, Senator Ali Ndume, has explained why northern politicians and their supporters should support a southerner to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
This follows debates and controversy over the zoning of the presidential tickets within some political parties ahead of the general elections.
Lending his voice to the debate, Senator Ndume believes the North stands to benefit more from a southern presidency.
“Personally, I feel we will be better off with the President coming from the South,” he said on Tuesday while featuring as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today. “The current President comes from the North and if you look at it analytically, the South benefitted more.
“If the President comes from the South, we will benefit more – just as we did previously during (former President Goodluck) Jonathan’s (administration). It pays the South when there is a northern President.”
Ndume, in his reaction, also supported Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State’s position that the APC should zone its 2023 presidential ticket to the South.
He also highlighted some of the contributions of the present administration to the development of infrastructure in the southern part of the country.
“I support that 100 percent. I support his (Akeredolu’s) position. I’m from the North but I am a Nigerian who believes in justice, equity, and fairness, and that is what the party is built on, and I think what Akeredolu said is just my advice to the party too, they should make a decision,” he said.
“When Buhari was appointed (elected), the South benefitted more. Let me count it for you; they (the South) have the vice president and the vice president is so powerful because the President at one time handed over the country to him when he left – that was unprecedented.
“You have the Vice President from the South West, you have the Speaker (of the House of Representatives) from the South West and from the South, there are more than five strategic ministers — the minister of finance was from the south-west until the south-west pushed her out because it was the media hype that pushed her out because of the trivial matter of NYSC certificate.
“Then, we have the ministers of works, health, and state for health from the south and then, another important ministry is petroleum— the president is the minister, but the de facto minister is the minister of state is from south-south.
“If you look at what the government is out to do, especially in the area of infrastructure, the South benefitted more because you have the second Niger Bridge to be completed very soon; East-West road will be completed, we have the Deep Blue sea project, the Lagos-Ibadan rail was started and commissioned, then we have the Lagos-Ibadan expressway (project) also going very smooth; so many projects in the South.”
Recall that Akeredolu had earlier canvassed that APC should avoid self-inflicted crises ahead of the 2023 elections.
In a statement titled ‘Our Party, APC Must Tread The Path Of Equity,’ he said it would be dishonest for anyone to argue against rotation at this period.
Akeredolu, a two-term governor on the platform of the APC, stated that the national chairmanship position was zoned to the North while all other offices were filled on that understanding, adding that it was the time for the party leaders to make a categorical statement, devoid of equivocation, on the pattern of succession.