Chief Olu Falae, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, and a one time Finance Minister has said Nigeria was amalgamated in 1914 and it was done between the North and South – and it will be provocative to the South should the North continue in 2023.
The former minister said the fair thing is for a qualified and respected southerner to be President in an interview he granted Vanguard Newspaper about the state of the Nation.
He agreed that allowing the Northern agenda to continue post 2023, will not only be unfair, but create instability in the country.
“Definitely, it will be unfair and provocative to allow the Presidency continue in the North post 2023. If the President were from the south now and people are saying it should remain in the south, it will be unfair to other Nigerians”.
Falae bares his mind on zoning of the presidency in 2023 and other burning national issues and added that he doesn’t want to get involved in the messy politics about that one but acknowledged “two major divides in our country, North and South”.
But he insisted that Nigeria needs a system that allows for merit.
“We have been advocating merit for a very long time. Let the best man emerge and give us good governance. But our people said no until the power had gone round all the various parts of Nigeria. We should adopt meritocracy. A more competitive merit based system is what will benefit us. The thing has been concentrated in one part of Nigeria in the North and it should go round the various parts of Nigeria. The problem with that concept is that zoning is not even in the Nigeria Constitution. It is what each party defines it to be in its own Constitution and to the extent that there is no restriction on zoning in the constitution. Any zoning in any party constitution is null and void if challenged in the court of law. The right of a Nigerian to contest the presidency is defined in the constitution in terms of his age, education, status and all that. Once you fulfil the requirements you can run for president. For a party to now say, in addition you must come from a particular part of Nigeria that is wrong. The party’s constitution is imposing on the citizens an additional qualification which the constitution does not recognized.”