Two-term Zamfara State Governor and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Senator Sani Ahmad has said there was no agreement, written or otherwise amongst foundation members of the ruling party for zoning of the presidential ticket or other elective offices within the country.
The former Zamfara State governor remarks are on the heels of a comment by former Lagos State governor and incumbent Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola that before subsequent general elections, political leaders should honor gentleman agreement, in their respective platforms.
Speaking with newsmen in Abuja, Senator Yarima who had since declared his interest in the 2023 Presidency said there was no agreement on zoning.
The former legislator and chieftain of the defunct, All Nigerians People’s Party, ANPP, one among the parties that merged to make the APC said he was aware of all the meetings held to make the erstwhile main opposition party and zoning of Presidency was never a problem. Yerima challenged the chieftains of the party with contrary evidence to bring it to the general public domain.
He said: “You see, I don’t think there’s anything like agreement. you’ll ask Mr. President, he led the group, Asiwaju was there, I used to be a part of it, there was no meeting I didn’t attend or any meeting that I attended that there’s such agreement.
“Agreement can’t be verbal, it’s to be written. In any case, any agreement that’s contrary to the laws of this country isn’t an agreement. The Constitution is extremely clear, the Constitution of the political parties, the Electoral Act. We are a democracy and democracy is governed by processes and procedures and bylaws.
So the Constitution of Nigeria doesn’t recognize anything called zoning and likewise, check APC Constitution. If there’s that agreement why didn’t we put it within the Constitution? So nobody will just come and say that there’s an agreement, take your Constitution and amend it, but that agreement if there’s then nobody will come from another side and work against the Constitution.
“As a democrat, as a citizen of Nigeria, I can aspire to support the laws of Nigeria. The Nigerian Constitution has given rights and privilege to each citizen which believes he has something to supply to aspire for any office, regardless of his state of origin, his tribe, ethnicity, religion; you’ve got right, the Constitution has given us guarantee to participate within the political process.”
Asked if it might be proper to permit another chieftain of the party from President Buhari, not the West geopolitical zone to succeed him, the previous Zamfara State governor insisted that nothing within the Nigerian Constitution preclude or declared him ineligible to hunt the exalted office after President Buhari.
“Can I offer you an example of America, George Bush (Snr) was President, George Bush (Jnr) became President. They form an equivalent family, not from an equivalent state, not from an equivalent zone. “This may be a democracy, if Nigerians plan to vote for Yarima, so be it.”
On the pervasive farmers/ herders clashes across states within the country, Senator Yarima advised that the govt must be determined to implement existing laws within the statutes, without worrying or favor.
He maintained that strict adherence to rules would inspire confidence amongst the ethnic groups within the country.
“Justice and fairness. Once there’s equity, justice, and fairness you’ll not have any clash between any group, tribal or ethnic.
“Government has got to be firm in implementing laws, rules, and regulations. Once there’s no implementation of the laws, rules, and regulations, you’ve got these clashes but if everybody knows that this is often prohibited and this what you’ll do as a farmer or as a herdsman there’ll be no problem.
“Grazing areas within the north are clearly demarcated but some farmers encroached the grazing area and which wont to cause a crisis because people aren’t observing the principles and regulations of the states.
“So, once laws are properly enacted and implemented there’ll be no crisis so every leader has got to be just and fair to all or any even as we always swear by the Constitution. You see during this country, it’s amazing for people like I said don’t read their Constitution, they don’t even know. I feel there has got to be a part of the form of government of Nigeria from the lyceum