2023 presidency: Tinubu’s a competent person – PDP’s Shagari says

Zoning not bad but competence comes first - Shagari

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A former Minister for Water Resources, Mukhtari Shehu Shagari, says competence should not be sacrificed by political parties when choosing their presidential candidates in 2023.

He said that while zoning is good for the sake of equity, political parties must still pay superior attention to competence, credibility and capability.

The ex-minister, who is a nephew to former President Shehu Shagari, stated this in an interview with Saturday Sun while reacting to calls for power to shift to the South in the next presidential election.

He said, “First and foremost, let us try to understand why our leaders came out with this issue of zoning.

“Zoning in the first place is not a concessional matter; it is an arrangement and understanding by people to give opportunity to each side of the country; the South and the North.

“So, it is normally up to the political party but to me, what is so important, as far as I’m concerned is competence and credibility and capability of the candidate that you pick, whether it is through zoning, or open for everybody, what should be the criteria are competence, credibility of the person, his capability and his love for Nigeria from where ever he may come from.

“But, zoning is good, in the sense that it gives everybody a sense of belonging. You know we have practised zoning in the past? Because I remember, even in 2003, people still came out from other sections of the country to contest against Obasanjo in PDP.

“And it has been happening, and I hope that whoever the parties eventually choose to be their flag bearers, whether it’s from the North or from the South, I think the yardstick should be his competence, his capability and then also, his credibility.

“Those should be the things but I wouldn’t want to say zoning is not good, it is good, but for me, these three things that I’ve mentioned should be the yardstick through which we should elect our president, it should be the yardstick through which the parties also elect their own candidates for the various elections in 2023.”

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Shagari, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, also said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) would do well to give its National Leader, Asiwaju Bola TInubu a shot at the presidency in 2023, describing him as a “competent person”.

Reacting to the former Lagos State Governor’s rumoured presidential ambition, the former Sokoto State deputy governor said, “Well, Bola Tinubu, I will call him my brother and my friend; we have a very good and cordial relationship even though we have never belonged to the same political party.

“Bola Tinubu is a very competent person and he has been able to raise a lot of leaders from Lagos, from the local government to state and national level and so, he is a very good person, he’s a very competent person but whether or not he will be presidential candidate in 2023 depends on his own political party and as I said I belong to the PDP, I cannot say who and who the APC will want to field but he’s a very competent person, he is alright.”

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