Gowon pushes for rotational presidency

General Yakubu Gowon
Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon

The clamour for power shift got a push on Sunday from former Head of State General Yakubu Gowon, who called for zoning and rotational presidency among the six geo-political zones.

General Gowon said rotating the office is key to peace, tranquility and development.

The elder statesman, who spoke in Abuja at 100th anniversary of Barewa Old Boys Association (BOBA), canvassed the rotation of the presidency among the 19 Northern states, adding that, no ethnic group is better outside the nation than inside as one united Nigeria.

He suggested that Nigeria should henceforth, have two vice presidents, saying that one of them should come from the zone producing the President and the other elected into power during the presidential election.

Gowon who spoke on the topic: “Barewa College at centenary: Past, present and future,” also said the governorship position in all states of the federation should also be rotated among the three senatorial districts, saying that, such would help address the crisis of marginalisation.

Stressing the need for a united Nigeria, Gowon said that Boko Haram, banditry and kidnapping have threatened the peace and the tranquility needed for the educational development in the country.

He said: “Presidency should be zoned and rotated among the six geo-political zones of the country. This is key to peace, tranquility and development of our country.

“Also, among the 19 northern states, the Nigerian presidential position should be rotated.”

On insecurity, Gen. Gowon said: “Insecurity is giving the northern region a bad name and image and the need to make the North peaceful again cannot be overemphasized.

“Boko Haram, banditry, kidnapping have threatened the peace and tranquility needed for educational development in our land.

“Insecurity in any nation threatens development, law and order. Insecurity must be ruthlessly dealt with collectively to pave way for the development of the education sector and development.”

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, said children of the poor in the North often described as (talakawa) were never prevented from going to school.

Debunking a statement that the northern elite did not allow the children of the talakawa to go to school, the sultan said such statement was false and should be disregarded.

Urging every northerner to speak against the statement, the one-time head of state said: “As a child, I attended the same school with children of our Dogari and Talakawa.”

He also stressed the need to support girl-child education, saying the girl-child remained one of the best children to train because she in turn manages the home and trains children to behave positively in society.

“We will continue to support and educate our children. If we are against education why are we spending millions to train our children.”

Obaseki, who spoke in Benin at a reception organised in honour of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Vice Chairman (Southsouth), Dan Orbih, maintained that oil-bearing Southsouth zone must produce the next president.

It was at the Benin home of the opposition party’s former Board of Trustees (BoT) Chairman the late Chief Tony Anenih

Congratulating Orbih on his well-deserved victory, he reminded him of the responsibilities waiting for him as the zonal chairman of the PDP.

He said: “We expect you will deliver the presidency to the zone (Southsouth). God has given our zone all it takes to have it, because all the governors in the zone belong to one party (PDP).

“This is the zone (Southsouth) that has not completed its presidency. We have one term and they must give us in 2023. Chief Dan Orbih is the man that will make it happen.”

Orbih described his election was a call to serve the people of the Southsouth zone.

Orbih also urged the Federal Government to stop playing politics with the development of the Southsouth.