Zoning not necessary; another competent northerner can take over from Buhari: Ooni of Ife
The Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has downplayed agitation for zoning Nigeria’s presidency to the South in 2023, holding that any competent Nigerian can succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.
Since the advent of the Fourth Republic, political elites have rotated Nigeria’s presidency on a North-South basis at each election cycle.
The subsisting arrangement has fuelled agitations from southern governors for ceding the nation’s top job to the South after Mr Buhari, a staunch northerner completes his eight-year run at the helm in 2023.
But Mr Ogunwusi, a foremost traditional ruler from the country’s South-West says zoning should take the back seat in considering the next Nigerian leader.
“The issue of zoning; I have a different school of thought based on it. What is critical for me is equality across the board,” the monarch declared. “Who is going to the job? If the person coming from the South is going to do the job, so be it.”
The traditional ruler stressed that each presidential aspirant has their “competitive advantage, some have strength, some do not have the competence and some are not aided by culture.”
“If it is a candidate from the North that can do it, then let us go ahead,” Mr Ogunwusi added.
The monarch aired his views in an interview with Arise TV while trying to debunk reports that he has endorsed former Lagos governor Bola Tinubu for the 2023 presidency.
“I’m a royal father, I accepted this throne as a young individual. God actually brought me to the throne that has been in existence for hundreds of thousands of years, I have to support and pray for all,” Mr Ogunwusi said.
Among top northerners jostling to become Nigeria’s president come 2023 are Senate President Ahmed Lawan, Sokoto Governor Aminu Tambuwal, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, and former Senate President Bukola Saraki.