A former governor of Zamfara State, Sani Yarima, has declared his intention to run for the 2023 presidential election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Yarima, the first Nigerian Governor to implement Sharia law in his state, which came into effect on 27 January 2000, told newsmen his intentions on Wednesday, in Abuja, that his decision to contest the election was to win and better the lives of Nigerians.
Zamfara’s law adopted Sharia in its entirety, with the exceptions that apostasy was not criminalized and all sentences can be appealed to Nigeria’s Federal Courts, which do not permit traditional Hudud punishments.
Sharia implementation bodies were established in Zamfara, including the Council of Ulama, Hisbah Commission, Zakkat and Endowment Board, Sharia Research and Development Board, and the Preaching Commission.
Yarima, who represented Zamfara West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, decried the spate of killings and poverty in the country, saying the situation needed to be addressed.
“You may recall that in 2006, I declared my interest to contest for Presidency after having served Zamfara State for a period of eight years.
“However, I decided to withdraw for the current President at that time and since then I went to Senate for three terms.
“Now that Mr President is completing his second term, I decided to try again to see what God will have for me having voluntarily decided not to go to the Senate again.
“You can see today Nigeria is facing a lot of challenges of security but as one of APC stalwarts, I have an opportunity, always, if I want to meet Mr President and give my own piece of advice.
“However, I can still say that these challenges can be overcome through concerted efforts.
The former governor also said APC leaders did not reach any agreement prior to the 2015 general election that there would be power rotation to the South at the expiration of President Buhari’s tenure in 2023.
Yarima, who argued that zoning was alien to the 1999 Constitution, the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended) and the APC’s Constitution, added that no one can force him out of the race on grounds of zoning.
“You see, I don’t think there is anything like agreement.
“You can ask Mr President, he led the group, Asiwaju was there, I was part of it.
“There was no meeting I didn’t attend or any meeting that I attended that there was such agreement.
“Agreement can’t be verbal, it has to be written.
“In any case, any agreement that is contrary to laws of this country is not an agreement.
“The Constitution is very clear, the Constitution of the political parties, the Electoral Act. We are in a democracy and democracy is governed by processes and procedures and by laws.
“The Constitution of Nigeria doesn’t recognize anything called zoning and likewise, the APC’s Constitution.
“If there is that agreement why didn’t we put it in the Constitution?
“So, nobody will just come and say that there is an agreement, take your Constitution and amend it, put that agreement if there is, then nobody will come from another side and work against the Constitution.
“As a democrat, as a citizen of Nigeria, I can aspire based on the laws of Nigeria.
“The Nigerian Constitution has given rights and privilege to every citizen which believes he has something to offer to aspire for any office, irrespective of his state of origin, his tribe, ethnicity, religion; you have right, the Constitution has given us guarantee to participate in the political process,” he said.