- Chief Bode George called on Nigeria to embrace the rotational system
- The PDP chieftain said if power is zoned from north to south, there will be peace
- George said history has shown that the only way progress can be made in the country is for every unit be given a chance
Chief Bode George has called for the rotation of presidency for the 2023 election saying it was time power move to the south.
In an interview with Vanguard, the Peoples Democratic Party chieftain said said his involvement in politics has shown him that the best thing for the country is to maintain the practice of zoning.
He said: I joined in 1998, I listened to the wisdom of the elders from the East, West, North and South; those, who had been practitioners in the First and Second Republics. They came back and said ‘this should resolve our crisis’ and so after eight years those positions in the South would go to the North and those in the North would go to the South and I termed it ‘Turn by Turn Nigeria Ltd’.
“So when you now hear people say we want to retain the presidency in a particular zone, I would ask: Have you forgotten history? Unfortunately, I have been told that they do not teach history anymore in schools. Those who forget history are doomed to repeat past mistakes. I am appealing to them. What is in life? Is there a life perpetual?”
George the issue of rotating power is not because one region did not do well but that for the sake of peace, power must be shared.
He said: “My best friend is a northerner, he is a Fulani man and he is still my best friend; so I am not talking on disparaging terms. I am talking about our nation. This (zoning) is a concept but how do you work it? You think if it is you alone, others would sit down and look and there won’t be any trouble? Why are we looking for trouble?
“I read somewhere that it is only PDP that has zoning, APC does not have zoning. I wish them the best of luck but that is not national, that is not Nigerian, that is not a true federation. That is not the kind of thing I want to hear in my old age about people who believe power resides with them. It was tried with the military, it did not work. Nigeria is not the first country to adopt this concept of zoning. Till tomorrow in Switzerland, that is what they do because in Switzerland you have Italians, French and Germans and they rotate. Why are people now trying to throw up another problem? If anybody is thinking about that, let them go into history and find out how we came about zoning, it did not just drop from the sky. People reasoned it out by saying ‘how can we have peace? How can we have a sense of belonging and make sure that every Nigerian has a sense of belonging.”
The chieftain predicted that the country will run into problem if only one region monopolises power.
He said: “I am not a soothsayer; I do not look at crystal balls. Can there be peace when only one tribe monopolizes power? That was the route we passed, why should we go through that same route now? What we resolved was that we go into regional cooperation. The states have come to stay. So rather than scrap it, we can now call it the United States of Nigeria. We copied the presidential system, let us fully copy it. Why can’t we have local government police or even start with state police? We are not starting anything new and we copied the presidential system because the parliamentary system does not agree with the African culture and behaviour.
“You need to see the British when they are in their parliament. The way they talk across the aisle, we cannot do it here. In the African culture, the obaship, the rulership is like a presidential system. Let us do it a full-blown presidential system with a little caveat that at least for now in the next 50 years until we are fully embellished. We can even start a system where all Yoruba children would have to study Hausa and Igbo, and vice versa for children in other regions. That is a solution that should have been to ensure the commonness of language.
“However, we can still start it but if people are struggling for power, power is transient it is not perpetual. Besides, you do not get to decide which part of the world you get born into. Why don’t you live the day and ensure that your neighbor is as comfortable as you are? That is the only way you can guarantee your comfort. In summary, there would not be peace if power refuses to rotate in 2023.”
In an earlier interview with Legit.ng, Shettima Yerima, the national president of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), said someone from the north will succeed Buhari in 2023.
He expressed belief that the south east would support the north to produce Buhari's successor in 2023.
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