2023 Presidency: Come to North for negotiations, Zulum tells South-East, South-South politicians

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Politicians from the South-East and South-South geo-political zones have been counseled to embark on negotiations if they want power in their regions.

Babagana Zulum, the governor of Borno State, who gave the advice yesterday at the 17th Chief Gani Fawehinmi annual lecture in Lagos, added that only the Almighty gives power.

With the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari who is from the North winding down in 2023, there have been calls for power to return to the southern part of the country.

Although that was the practice under the now opposing Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) when it held sway from 1999 before losing power to Mr Buhari of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in 2015, the arrangement is now known to the ruling party.

Southern politicians in the APC particularly from the South-West region are relying on a so-called gentleman agreement they had with its counterparts from the North to insist power returns to the southern part of the country.

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Those from the South-East geo-political zone while backing power rotation said it is the turn of the region to produce the next Nigerian leader since the South-West and South-South have produced presidents since the return to democratic rule in 1999.

But politicians and groups in the Northern Nigeria who consider themselves influential are not buying the idea, insisting power must remain in their region and the next contest should be by competence rather than rotation.

For the Borno helmsman, aside God who gives power, any other person who is seeking the top office must negotiate to get it.

“To our friends and brothers in the south-south and south-east particularly, only God gives power but you have to negotiate for power,” the governor said.

“Negotiation becomes easier when you make friends across the divide. If we negotiate for power, we don’t always get everything we want, but we will normally mention every clause that covers everything we need.

“I said this because I have heard many people say ‘they don’t want to give us power’ but assumptions and projections will never actualise your aspirations. We must all remember that God gives power but human beings negotiate for it.

“Every interested party must be prepared to negotiate for it,” the professor added while backing power rotation.

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