It’s dangerous to jettison rotation in 2023, Ohuabunwa warns

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant, Sam Ohuabunwa, has warned that jettisoning the principle of zoning and rotational presidency in 2023 could threaten the unity of the country.

Ohuabunwa, however, said his ambition to be president is based on his competence and not because he is from the South East political zone.

The aspirant, who stated this in an interview with journalists in Abuja, also added that Nigeria needs a president with corporate business sense and not people who have lived all their lives on government money.

The PDP, through its Bala Mohammed committee, has resolved to throw the presidency open in 2023.

But while noting that zoning has not outlived its usefulness, Ohuabunwa added that it is critical in a multi-ethnic and religious setting.

“In a country where you have majority and minority, if you don’t zone, you will perpetually keep people as slaves. And if you want unity you must bring inclusiveness. That is my point.

“When we get to the point where we are political sophisticated and have dealt with all the mundane issues, like housing, education, transportation, healthcare and mortgage system. When we take care of all these mundane things, zoning will become unimportant. “

Ohuabunwa further argued that the time to jettison zoning would come when leaders stop thinking about their region or zone, their ethnicity and religion.

“When you have leaders who are dispassionate, detribalised and mean well and they run the system once or twice, and the man from the North does not see the difference between what his own president from his area did from the one from another area, we will get to point where zoning becomes unimportant.

“But if we say no zoning, then after Buhari, someone from Katsina should also become president, because the moment you exclude Katsina you have started rotating. And I will tell you how the rest of Nigeria would take it.

“The federal character principle as enshrined in our constitution when applied to the constitution means that one state or group cannot dominate it, otherwise, the principle has no significance.

“Those arguing against rotation are being clever by half because all those arguing against it were the same people, who argued for it. I have lived in this country and I can show them their past recordings on the issue.”

He said PDP should trust his ideas and use him as a new face to change the Nigerian narrative.

The presidential hopeful also dismissed concern that he might not enjoy the backing of party governors, saying that he has been a party man since 1999

“Why I want to be president is because Nigeria has been run by different Presidents and Nigeria has failed to achieve its manifest destiny. The countries that we started with as underdeveloped and developing nations in the 1960s have all risen. Some have become first class, developed and industrialised nations like Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, China and United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“UAE was a desert. As director in Pfizer, we used to go and watch Bedouin Arabs do sports on the sand dunes, but in my generation, some men dreamt and built a global capital where everybody is going. I have watched our country, rather than being a place where people are united, its people are disunited. Rather than being a safe country, it has become a dying field as if nobody is able to halt it. I have a strong motivation that I have what it takes to rewrite the Nigerian narrative.”

He said he would bring revolutionary change in Nigeria and transform it into a first world country.

Noting that the array of political presidential hopefuls do not intimidate him, he said he has gone round Nigeria, built political structures and interfaced with the grassroots across the country.

He dismissed the concerns about his age, stressing that young governors in the country have performed poorly. He said leadership is about wholeness of mind and body, which I possess.

Ohuabunwa said it would be tragic to use only age as criteria in choosing next president, adding that Buhari issues should be benchmark, “there are people that are my age that can’t do what we do. What matters is that I have sound mind, soul and body.

“Those who are working we will adjust their salaries that will be give them living opportunity. We will index salaries to inflation and devaluation. The day Nigeria devalues; salaries will be adjusted, especially for those who are government employees. The day inflation grows beyond five per cent, salaries are automatically adjusted, and we must maintain a minimum standard of living.”

He said his administration would remove the necessity for corruption, stressing that many are compelled to compromise because of the reality of situations in the country

He said Nigeria needs a president with corporate business sense and not people who have lived all their lives on government money.

“These guys that we have now are not corporate oriented. They have not borrowed money from a bank to do business. They have lived on government resources. They don’t know the time value of money. Nigeria needs somebody with thorough business sense and corporate training a blending answer understands how corporate governance is run and hoe systems are made to achieve results.”


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