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'2023: El-Rufai's Statement Inimical To Nigeria's Unity'.

A member of the House of Representatives, Simon Mwadkon, has described a statement credited to the Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, on the need to abandon zoning formula in determining where the president emerges in 2023 as one that is inimical to the unity of Nigeria and an attempt to circumvent zoning for selfish interest.

The governor had reportedly made the call during a book launch and voted for competence above zoning consideration in determine the region or zone that produces the next president.

But the lawmaker, representing Barakin-ladi and Riyom Federal Constituency of Plateau State, said the governor was trying to make some Nigerians more Nigerian than others.'

'It is unfortunate that Governor el-Rufai can come out with such a statement. Apart from the political arrangements in place in the country, the 1999 Constitution recognises federal character and if he is talking of competence, why didn't he raise the issue before 2019 election?

'If he is a genuine advocate of equality and competence, why is his state having low cut-off mark for admission and he is not complaining? He should stop speaking from both sides of his mouth.

'El-Rufai is just testing the waters and flying 2023 kite for his ambition and, therefore, wants to rock the boat. Nigerians should not listen to him. He wants to incite the North against the South,' he said.

A former member of the House of Representatives, Johnbull Shekarau, said the likes of el-Rufai change their views based on the direction of the wind, adding that it was a selfish call to rock the boat ahead of 2023.

'The call is not genuine. He wants to create problem to pave the way for actualisation of his dream in 2023. People know he wants to contest for Presidency. This call is not in the interest of this nation. Nigerians should disregard it.

'Why did he not say this when Buhari was contesting in 2015? He simply wants to provoke the South. This is mischief. If it is an Igbo, Yoruba or Middle-Belt man that is in power, will he be saying that?

'When the time comes, Nigerians will jettison zoning, but el-Rufai is not competent to champion this. More so, the North will complete its second term in 2023,' he said.

A former speaker, Plateau State House of Assembly, Istifanus Mwansat, also said it was unfortunate that people in Nigeria took position as it suited them, adding that the call for zoning to be jettisoned was a ploy to shortchange the South.

'It is not in the interest of the nation. It is against national unity. It is capable of heating up the polity and igniting problem in the country.

'The All Progressives Congress (APC) should caution and condemn him. He is up to a game that is not in the interest of this country,' he said.

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Publication:Nigerian Tribune (Oyo State, Nigeria)
Geographic Code:6NIGR
Date:Aug 11, 2019
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