Gov. El-Rufai joins 2023 race, demands scraping of presidential zoning

August 12, 2019
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There are indications that Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State may have joined the race for the 2023 presidential election, building up for the presidential ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). The Kaduna State Governor’s poster has been circulating in the social media where his cardinal programmes are being articulated. El-Rufai may have joined two perceived aspirants for the APC presidential ticket from the south – Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who has but made official declaration for the race but was said to have noted that his supporters are behind the mobilization of pushing the presidential project at the moment; then, APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, who like El-Rufai, has his poster spreading in the social media and displaying his campaign programmes.

Working to improve his political fortune, Governor El-Rufai advocated the scraping of zoning of the presidential ticket of the various political parties between north and south.

National Dailygathered that El-Rufai in a prologue titled ‘Defeating a Determined Incumbent – The Nigerian Experience’, written as contribution in a book by the Director-General of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, Salihu Lukma, argued that competence should be given priority over zoning in choosing Nigeria’s president, saying that Nigeria cannot afford towing same path again. The governor insisted that zoning of presidential ticket to the south is one policy APC must guard against or discourage in moving the party forward and sustaining the power taken over by the party in 2015.

El-Rufai had declared: “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.”

El-Rufai subsequently highlighted certain factors that could facilitate the defeat of an incumbent by an opposition party, which he identified to include: ‘a unified opposition preferably merged into a single and well-structures political party well ahead of the next election cycle, and with transparent processes and progressive policies.

“A presidential candidate widely seen as credible and reformist to provide a sharp contrast to incumbents usually fattened by years of lazy, incompetent and corrupt rule;

“Honest elections that guarantee that votes count, using a mixture of competent electoral commission leadership and, crucially, deploying technologies for voter verification that drastically reduces electoral fraud.”

Governor El-Rufai could be projecting to dissect the APC which is being speculated to be considering zoning the presidential ticket to the south in 2023. Doing so would imply disqualifying El-Rufai from the 2023 presidential race.

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