El-Rufai backs return of presidency to South in 2023

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai

The Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, on Monday said the 2023 presidency should go to Nigeria’s southern region.

He said this will promote the democratic tenets and balance of power among the regions in the country.

Prior to this, a former military head of state, Ibrahim Babaginda, in an interview on Channels TV expressed a similar thought.

Unlike Mr El-Rufai, the ex-head of state specifically mentioned the Igbos while Mr El-Rufai did not specify which of the southern geopolitical zones should take the presidency in 2023.

For many years, Nigeria’s political class have observed an unwritten rule that has seen the presidential slot rotated between its majorly Christian-dominated south and the Muslim-dominated north.

The current president, Muhammadu Buhari, is from Katsina, in the North-west. He defeated the then incumbent, Goodluck Jonathan, in 2015. Mr Jonathan, who is from Bayelsa, South-south, region took over from late President Umaru Yar’Adua, a northerner.

El-Rufai joins debate

“The general political consensus in Nigeria is that the pesidency should rotate between the North and the South. It is not written but everyone understands it,” the Kaduna governor said.

“In some of the parties, like the PDP, it is even written down in their constitution but it was breached in 2015. I think that every politician of honour should understand and abide by that consensus except there is an extenuating circumstance compelling it to be set aside. What could this be?

READ ALSO: FG budgets N16.6million as rent for VP’s residence

“President Yar’Adua died in office and it was compulsory for Jonathan to continue but when 2011 election came, there were many people who insisted that Jonathan should step aside for a northerner to complete the tenure of Yar’Adua but I opposed it because I didn’t think it was proper for an incumbent that got there not by his own design should be stopped from contesting when the constitution has not barred him from running,” the Vanguard newspaper reported the governor as saying on Monday.

Mr El-Rufai acknowledged the ‘deliberate’ omission of zoning in the ruling APC’s constitution but opined that it is ideal that “the Northern APC will have to sit down and endorse someone, most likely someone from the south, because after eight years of Buhari, I don’t think the presidency should remain in the north unless there is some extenuating circumstances. But all things being equal, we will honour our agreement and we keep our words.”

His view, however, appears contrary to that of some northern leaders in the party who want the region to retain the seat as they argue the seat should be based on merit and general acceptance rather than unwritten agreements.


PT Mag Campaign AD

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.


TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...

BE THE FIRST TO KNOW! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application