Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna, says the presidency should go to the south after the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking in an interview, el-Rufai said it is an “unwritten consensus” that the presidency rotates between the north and the south, adding that “everyone understands it”.
The former minister said every politician should honor the consensus, except there is “an extenuating circumstance compelling it to be set aside”, citing the case of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan contesting the 2011 presidential election after completing the tenure of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua who died in office.
The governor explained that while it is written in the constitution of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the All Progressives Congress (APC) “deliberately omitted rotational presidency” in its constitution.
“The general political consensus in Nigeria is that the Presidency should rotate between the North and the South. It is not written but everyone understands it,” el-Rufai was quoted as saying.
“In some of the parties, like the PDP, it is even written down in their constitution but it was breached in 2015. I think that every politician of honor should understand and abide by that consensus except there is an extenuating circumstance compelling it to be set aside.
“President Yar’Adua died in office and it was compulsory for Jonathan to continue but when 2011 election came, there were many people who insisted that Jonathan should step aside for a northerner to complete the tenure of Yar’Adua but I opposed it because I didn’t think it was proper for an incumbent that got there not by his own design should be stopped from contesting when the constitution has not barred him from running.
“In the APC, we deliberately omitted rotational Presidency in our constitution and the emergence of a presidential candidate does not take into account zoning and that was why in 2015, Rochas Okorocha from the East contested, Sam Nda-Isaiah contested, Buhari, Kwankwaso and others contested.”
He was previously thought to be nursing an ambition to succeed Buhari.