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Borno South senator, Ali Ndume, has said the North will be better off in the area of infrastructure development, if a southerner becomes president in 2023.
Mr Ndume stated this while featuring on “Politics Today,” a programme on Channels Television, on Tuesday.
The senator was responding to the demand on Tuesday by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) should zone the presidency to the South.
Mr Akeredolu, the chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum, made the call in a statement titled “Our party, APC, must thread the path of equity.”
He said the party must limit the possibility of disagreement to a region of the country, in order to micro-manage it.
Mr Akeredolu stressed that it is the turn of the south to produce the next president after eight years of President Muhammadu Buhari, who is from Katsina State (North-west).
Last week, the Senate Chief Whip and former Abia governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, said he may drop his presidential ambition because the APC had not micro-zoned the presidency to the South-east.
Justifying his position that a southern presidency would benefit the north, Mr Ndume recounted that under the administration of former President Goodluck, a southerner, the north benefited hugely.
He also cited several ongoing projects in the south under the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, to back his claim.
Mr Ndume, who is the director-general of the Rotimi Amaechi Campaign Organisation, the campaign organisation of the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said zoning the presidency to the south is for the sake of fairness and equity.
“Personally, I feel we (north) will be better off with a president from the south. The current president comes from the north, if you look at it analytically, the south has benefitted more. If the president comes from the south, we will benefit more, just as we did previously under Jonathan.
“In the area of infrastructure, the south benefitted more. We have the 2nd Niger bridge, the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and Train. We have the Deep-sea port. We (north) will benefit more if the south gets the presidency,” Mr Ndume said.
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Mr Ndume said the poor people in the north are against injustice just as he advised the party to heed the advice of Mr Akeredolu and others on rotating it to the south.
He cited the case of 2014 when the party agreed in principle to field a candidate from the south. The senator said Rochas Okorocha, the only aspirant from the South east, did not contest but rather participated.
“In 2015, when it was also agreed in principle that the president should come from the north. Nobody, particularly from the South west or South-south went into the contest. It was not because there are no capable hands, it was based on that principle.
“The only person that contested–I don’t even want to use the word “contested”–that participated was Okorocha, even as at that time, Okorocha had his gubernatorial ticket in his pocket or in the custody of his son in law,” he said.
Mr Ndume also dismissed the argument that if the opposition party, PDP, decides to nominate a northern candidate, they could lose the election.
He cited instances where northern presidential candidates have been defeated by southern candidates.
“Buhari, as popular as he is, he contested against Jonathan and he lost. Atiku contested against Jonathan and he lost.
“Many northerners believe in justice, especially the poor. And my religion believes in justice.”
This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.
The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.