The Governor of Kaduna state Nasir el-Rufai, had initially jettisoned the prospect of leadership positions by zoning when the issue was once raised by top political personnels and elites within and outside the country.
Recently Nasir el-Rufai, number one citizen of Kaduna state, has again stood on his earlier opinions and position by kicking against zoning of political leadership claiming that such an arrangement would spell doom for the nation as progress would be truncated in the country’s development.
The Governor speaking at the Nigerian Economic Summit (#NES26) in Abuja disclosed that it was pertinent that everyone should be given an equal right, privileges and opportunity to be elected to position of leadership. Also, that political appointments should be done based on qualification and merit and not by political or religious affiliations to persons or ethnicity.
It is a given that in the federal republic of Nigeria, political offices — especially the presidency — are rotated on the basis of geographical zones, from the time of Olusegun Obasanjo up till the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari who is from Katsina state.
However, with the prospect of the 2023 election roughly two years away, some Nigerians have started clamouring that the presidency should return to the south. Reasons for this request are obviously steeming from the belief that the north has had their fair share of power and there is a strong feeling of marginalisation from the other geopolitical zones of the federation.
Speaking with regards to this proposed line of thought by many at a plenary session at the summit on Tuesday, El-Rufai recalled that Nigeria failure over the year and lack of substantial development was due to the fact that they had relied on this absurd tradition and culture of rotating her leadership positions.
He continued by insisting that position of authority and genuine leadership should not be selected by zones or political parties as this “will lead to inefficiency”, he disclosed that what could be fair enough is to ensure that a proper structure is put in place to accommodate everyone who genuinely want to serve the nation. in his words he said; what is of importance is in such a situation is “to give every society a framework of equal opportunity to take advantage of and prosper”…I do not believe that we should be driven in our politics and economics by distribution whether or not there is a logic behind it,” he said.
He continued claiming that;
“In my honest view, Nigeria went wrong when we focused on distribution rather than production. We like to distribute and it has gone as far as saying that in a state, governorship should rotate; that is absurd…“There is no country in the world that has made progress in the last 50 years that rotates its leaders. I think if we move away from this fixation about distribution to selecting or picking the best person to get the job done… when the job is done, everybody benefits…“Right now, we are distributing this and we are not making any progress because the focus is on distribution.”
El-Rufai was also of the strong opinion that there is the need to have more energetic creative and young people in position of leadership. Youths are to be more involved in political offices. He frowned and faulted a system where the majority young population is governed by old people as himself. According to him it is not the right way to go.
“We can’t have a country with 90 percent of our population below the age of 40 all ruled by old people like me,” he said…“We must have young people in government being trained to take over from us.”
Gift Joseph Okpakorese