From Desmond Mgboh, Kano
Second Republic politician, Tanko Yakasai, Friday, insisted that the Presidency must shift to the South in the interest of the unity of Nigeria.
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Speaking to Saturday Sun against the backdrop of recent developments, Yakasai counseled Northern politicians currently scrambling for presidential nomination forms to recognize that the incumbent, who has been in power in the last seven years is from the North while adding that it would serve Nigeria better if Buhari was succeeded by a Southerner.
“I have said it several times and it is left for Nigerians to listen. I have said that a Northerner should not be elected, at this time, to succeed Buhari and I am still standing on this position ” he declared.
The nonagenerian stressed that rotating the highest office of the land or zoning it between the North and South constituted the very pillars of the nation’s unity and its strength in diversity adding that any attempt to dislodge this principle now, under whatever guise, would not augur well for Nigeria as a country.
The former political adviser to President Shehu Shagari in the Second Republic specifically cautioned the All Progressives Congress (APC) against aborting the zoning arrangement which it had started, saying that doing so at this point could result in a lot of problems within the party and breed distrust in the country as a whole.
He urged the party to go ahead and complete the zoning process for its public offices, especially as it had already zoned it topmost party offices and positions in favour of the North.
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“They started it by zoning their party positions, by swapping it. Now they have to go to the logical conclusion of the exercise by zoning their positions for public offices, ” he stated.
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“What they did for party offices was to swap positions, so the same swapping must also be done for public offices” he declared.
He decried the cost at political party’s nomination forms, especially that of the APC and felt that the sum of N100 million for a presidential nomination form was not only exorbitant, but a tonic for corruption and corrupt tendencies.
Yakasai also expressed disappointment with a former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Afe Babalola (SAN) over his recent call for an interim government at the end of this tenure.
“For a lawyer of his standing to advocate for the adoption of an undemocratic system to replace a democratic system is a shame to my mind. ”
“I did not expect this from a man like him .. a lawyer to advocate an unconstitutional method of running a country like Nigeria in replacement of a democratic method. I am disappointed. I do not support him” he insisted.
While acknowledging that Nigeria’s democracy was facing huge challenges at the moment, he observed that the solution was not in the inauguration of an interim government to succeed President Mohammadu Buhari, but to shift from the present American -style presidential system to the French- style presidential system.
“What Nigeria is facing that the system that we have adopted is not working for us….. The solution is to drop the executive presidential system all together. Let us go back to the French Presidential System where a president shall be elected, who has specific powers and also the Prime Minister would also be elected by the parliament” he argued.