Any attempt to zone 2023 presidency to North will break up Nigeria – Sagay warns

Itse Sagay, the chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) has warned against power remaining in the North in the next presidential election.

Mr Sagay, a staunch supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari administration, is clamouring for power shift to the southern part of the country.

The PACAC helmsman is of the opinion that the country might disintegrate should that be the case in 2023.

“I don’t think the presidency is going to the North in 2023, certainly not through PDP and not through the APC because any attempt to do that could bring about the disintegration of the country,” Mr Sagay told Sun Newspapers in an interview published on Sunday.

“After year years of someone from the Northwest holding that position it has to come to the South, there is no question about that. Those Northerners who are still advocating that it continues in the North in 2023 do not want this country to continue. They are people I call separatists, they are the people that want this country to divide and for everybody to go its way.

“If they are interested in the future of this country, if they are interested in our continued unity and progress then we must know that the next president has to come from the South. I don’t expect the APC or the PDP, those are the two platforms on which you could become a president, I don’t see them fielding any other person except a Southerner. I mean any part of the South, so it is for the South themselves to begin to work hard to make sure that it comes to their side,” he added.

Some individuals and groups who consider themselves influential are insisting power must remain in the region after Mr Buhari completes his tenure. For instance, the Arewa Youths in the North vowed that any political party which does not file a Northerner in the coming election will have itself to blame.

The group are banking on the voting strength of the electorates in the area to make their demand. In the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) it is being canvassed that after Mr Buhari his successor must come from the south but the party is yet to make its decision on that known. Unlike the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which has zoning of presidential positions in its constitution, such does not exist in the constitution of the APC.

Although the two major political parties are yet to zone its presidential tickets, some individuals in the North including Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president, are said to warning up to contest in the next electoral exercise. Mr Abubakar was trounced by the incumbent president in the last election.

Meanwhile, the ruling APC, it is predicted, will be deserted by 2023, after Buhari, who is largely seen as the current uniting factor, leaves office.