El-Rufai: Selecting Nigeria’s President Should Be Based On Competence Not Zoning

Nasir El-Rufai, Govenor of Kaduna State has urged the Federal Government to abandon the zoning arrangement for political offices in favour of candidates’ competence.

As currently obtained in Nigeria, key political offices are rotated among six geo-political zones regions and ethnic groups in the country.

But presently, the position of the president rotates between the Northern and the Southern part of the country.

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However, governor El-Rufai has faulted the zoning arrangement saying Nigeria can not afford to continue producing political leaders based on the regions they come from.

According to sources, the governor said this in the prologue of a book titled: ‘Power of Possibilities and Politics of Change in Nigeria,’ written by Salihu Lukman, the Director-General of the Progressives Governors.

El-Rufai said the zoning arrangement is a barrier to political equality, adding that the present method of funding parties was “opaque”.

The governor, therefore proposed a new way of funding political parties saying it will help to curtail the excesses of political godfathers.

He said: “Even with our success in the 2015 elections, there is room for improvement. Barriers to political equality, such as our seemingly entrenched though informal rule for zoning candidacies according to regions of origin, need to be de-emphasised and ultimately abandoned in favour of an emphasis on qualification, competence and character.

“The financing of parties, candidates and campaigns remains opaque.

“Many African countries are marked by savage inequalities, and a handful of individuals have the wherewithal to hold the process hostage.

“We must work towards funding parties via capped and fully disclosed donations and annual dues payable by every registered party member.”

yans recall that in May, El-Rufai was reported to have expressed his aversion for political godfathers.

While speaking at an event in Ikoyi, Lagos, the governor said it’s easy to end godfatherism in Lagos and other states in Nigeria if enough people in the business world are committed to it..

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