Aminu Sani Jaji, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former governorship aspirant in Zamfara State, has described the position of the Southern Governors’ Forum on zoning as untenable, adding that the North will not be intimidated by anyone to cede power to the South in 2023.
Jaji, the immediate past chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Security and Intelligence, in an interview with Vanguard in Abuja, said all the talks about fiscal federalism and collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) by states are part of the grand scheme by southern governors to wrestle power from the North.
According to him, the idea of zoning is killing Nigeria’s democracy, and most advocates of zoning are only being sentimental.
He told the publication: “When a group of people sat down and talk about zoning, it is about sentiments.
“In politics, you don’t zone everything but because we are not yet mature and advanced, the issue of zoning is coming up. I think the issue of zoning always comes up because we want to remain as one.
“The political diversity we have today was because of regional politics we have been playing all the time since 1999 till date.
“Why I am saying regional leadership is because if our president comes from the North, it is believed that people from that place will benefit more from his leadership. That is why people are respecting the issue of zoning.
“On this issue of zoning, for now, that we have to allow it to happen is not the best. It is only killing our democracy.
“Because you cannot say you want somebody from the South or North to be president even to the detriment of other Nigerians. It is not possible. We are still learning but in a hard way.
“Let whoever is going to emerge as president in 2023 be on people’s mandate and not on zoning arrangements.”
Jaji also advised the APC to jettison the idea of zoning and throw its presidential contest open.