Senator Sani Yerima, former governor of Zamfara State, has insisted on his constitutional right to run for president in 2023 irrespective of the pressure from Southern governors to zone the presidency to the South, maintaining that the presidency should not be by allocation.
Alhaji Yerima, who has not hidden his intention to give a shot at the presidency come 2023, said the demand of the Southern governors is not backed by any known law in the country and not supported by any democratic norm as enshrined in various constitutions of the political parties.
In an interview he granted journalists in Abuja at the weekend, Senator Yerima maintained that the presidency should not be by allocation.
According to him, the attempt to push for the zoning of the presidency is motivated by selfish interest, and subtle move to acquire power by allocation.
He stressed that until the constitution of the country or those of political parties are amended to provide for zoning, no resolution of any group would bar him from pursuing his ambition.
Yerima, however, explained that should his political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), decide to zone the presidency to the South, that he would have no choice than to toe the part of his party. In that regard, he would rest his ambition as power comes from God through the people.
He said: “Well, I don’t see any body language either as a law or as a document that guides us in politics and in politicking.
“As far as I am concerned, democracy is guided by constitution, by rule of law. It is not personal interest of people, selfish interest of individuals or the projections by other people’s statements that will guide our democracy. If you look at all other parts of the world, from America that is the leader of democracy in the world, citizens are guided by the document called constitution to aspire for any office.
“As far as I am concerned, the Nigerian constitution and that of APC as of today, unless there is any amendment in the future, has declared that every Nigerian who is qualified based on the qualification that is enshrined in the constitution should aspire for any office in the land: governor, state Assembly, National Assembly. Therefore, as far as I am concerned, my constitution both party and national has not barred me from contesting for presidency. So no statement of any group can stop me.
“But, you see, if tomorrow my party comes up and say we have zoned presidency to the South, I, Yerima, will follow it. I will then know that it is a decision, legally and lawful that is binding on all members of the party. But so long as the constitution is still saying citizens of Nigeria and APC constitution is saying citizens of Nigeria, I am a citizen of Nigeria, I am going to contest.
“You see, I am a very religious person as a Muslim, I know that power comes from God first and if God destined that I’m going to be the president that will not happen. I have never left my party. I started with APP (All Peoples Party), we merged and became ANPP (All Nigerian Peoples Party) and later merged and become APC (All Progressives Congress). So I am a member of APC and I am not in any way thinking of moving from my party to another party. So once there is zoning, I know that my time is off, but I’m sure that God Himself will decide not people.”