Joe Igbokwe, the Special Adviser on Drainage and Water Resources to the Lagos State Government, says rotational presidency which is expected to return to the Southern part of the country in the next presidential election is non-negotiable.
There have been recent calls for the discard of rotational presidency practised since the return to democracy in 1999. Though not written in the Nigerian constitution, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while it held sway rotated the presidency between the Southern and Northern regions until it lost power to the then opposition party.
Defeating the PDP in the 2015 general election, the All Progressive Congress (APC) took over the affairs of the nation. With the expiration of the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari, who hails from the North, in 2023, it is hoped that power returns to the South though not in the constitution of the ruling party.
But some persons from the North who consider themselves influential and in a bid to retain power, are calling for the dumping of rotational presidency saying competence should be the yardstick for anyone seeking the top job. This did not augur well with the APC chieftain in Lagos State.
He is of the opinion that all the zones in the country have competent and capable hands who can steer the leadership position, therefore power must return to the Southern region where it will then be decided which geo-political zone it will then go to.
“For those who may not know, there is an established understanding that power will continue to rotate between North and South until we build a nation, so, that is where we are, it is not in dispute,” Mr Igbokwe said today while speaking at an event organised in his honour by Igbo youths in Lagos State APC.
“It is an unwritten understanding, for the betterment of Nigeria, we have to continue until we learn to understand that Nigeria is a nation, so if anyone is telling you about power going back to the North, it is not going to work. We know how we got here, so power comes to the South, that is an established position, unwritten rule for the sake of the country.
“The issue of competence is very important and we must understand that there are champions everywhere, will you say the South have no quality persons to stand in the position, even the smallest ethnic group in this country has somebody to present. There are champions everywhere and when it comes to the South we will decide where it will go.
“I believe that there is no controversy about it, for now let us continue with the rotation until we are matured enough and when we are matured enough we won’t be asking where somebody is coming from,” he added.