Apex Igbo sociocultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo erred in its claim that President Muhammadu Buhari emerged as a result of zoning of the presidency, a former Secretary-General of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Anthony Sani has said.
He stated this in a statement on Thursday in reaction to a statement by President-General of Ohanaeze, Chief John Nnia Nwodo.
In the Wednesday statement, Nwodo berated Buhari’s nephew, Mamman Daura for stating that competence and not “turn-by-turn” should determine who emerges president in 2023.
The Ohanaeze President said Daura was unfair in his comment, noting that his uncle was a product of the zoning he condemned.
Reacting, Sani said it was untrue that Buhari benefitted from zoning.
According to him, no fewer than 70 candidates contested against the president in 2015 from every part of the country.
Sani said, “I find it curious when some groups like Ohanaeze would say that, President Buhari was a product of national consensus on zoning or rotation of position of president to the North. The fact of history says no to that.
“I agree that the annulment of elections of June 12, 1993, morally blackmailed the nation into fielding General Obasanjo of PDP and Chief Olu Falai of AD/APP in 1999 to make up for the annulment and death of the winner, Chief MKO Abiola. I also agree that President Obasanjo wanted to enthrone politics of zoning and rotation when he foisted President Yar’Adua on the nation.
“But this did not last because apart from General Buhari’s bid in 2003 against President Obasanjo which was against letter and spirit of zoning/rotation, President Jonathan from the South contested against Buhari from the North not only in 2011 but also in 2015.
“In 2019, of about 76 presidential candidates, about 70 were southerners. All these show there is no national consensus on rotation and zoning that is binding on political parties.
“Therefore, it is either the proponents of politics of identity symbolized by rotation and zoning make it a law or they design a winning game plan and sell to the nation in order to secure their needed electoral mandate.
“The publicity secretary of ACF is right when he said yesterday that currently rotation and zoning are still affairs of political parties and must be seen and treated as such in the interest of our multiparty democracy.”