THE Leader of the Northern Civil Society Coalition, Mallam Shehu Sani has said that the north can only produce a president for the country if they are united and if they jettison the old order of rallying round Arewa leaders who cannot move the nation forward.
Sani particularly opposed the ticket of former Military Heads of State like retired Generals Ibrahim Babangida, Muhammadu Buhari; erstwhile Vice President Atiku Abubakar and the current Vice President, Alhaji Namadi Sambo, whom he said may not be sellable candidates from the north for the 2015 presidential election.
The civil rights activist, who spoke in Kaduna Friday in reaction to plans by the northern elders to shop for presidential materials explained that “for the north to achieve the aspiration of producing a president for Nigeria in 2015, it has to put its house in order.”
He added: “The zonal formula of the PDP which was violated by the emergence of President Goodluck Jonathan would make it impossible for the other sections of the country to concede the presidency to the northern part of Nigeria.
But the emergence of Jonathan will set a serious precedence in the sense that once power is within a certain geo-political zone, they may use the principle of democratic numbers to continue to dominate without looking back at the fact that rotation should be respected. So, the aspiration of northern political elite is genuine, but they need to do a lot of work.”
According to Sani, the workshops and seminars being organised by northern elders towards the project have been taking place in Arewa House, “but what has made it very much impossible is the ego and the personal ambition of some persons in the north who are not prepared to sacrifice their own personal ego and ambition.”
“Now, you have many people in the north that were interested in the presidency in the past and that had made it impossible for one person to get the overall support of all the people in the north. In the last dispensation, we saw the emergence of people like Babangida, Atiku, Buhari and we have seen how others like former state governors also showed interest in the leadership of the country.
I do not think that if the north fails to put their house in order, they would be able to make any difference in 2015. The north has the numerical strength, the land mass and the capacity to produce the president in 2015, all that they need is unity,” he stressed.