Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, says the next president of Nigeria should come from the south.
Speaking on Saturday, in an interview with BBC Hausa, the governor said he will not support a northerner to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
He added that it is baseless for anyone to insinuate that he would contest for presidency in 2023, saying he does not have any interest in the seat.
El-Rufai said the idea of rotating the presidency may not be constitutional, but it is based on the country’s political arrangement.
“In Nigerian politics, there is a system of rotation, in which everyone agrees that if the north rules for eight years, the south will rule for eight years,” el-Rufai said.
“That is why I came out and said that after President Buhari has been in office for eight years, no northerner should run for office. Let the Southerners also have eight years.
“If you look at how I am, I don’t take anyone to work with me for the zone he came from. The eligibility I look at is if who is entrusted to the public will hold it properly.
“It has been said that I have loved the presidency since I was a minister in the FCT. This is nonsense. I do not want the Nigerian presidency. God gives power, whether you like it or not, if He wants it, He will give it to you, but I have never sought the presidency of Nigeria, no one can say I have ever sought it.”
In July, in an interview with BBC Hausa, Mamman Daura, the president’s older nephew, said it is better for competence to prevail over zoning in government positions.
Daura’s comments attracted criticisms from socio-ethnic groups and some personalities in the country.