The former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, has said nobody in the All Progressives Congress (APC) has the right to prevent the party’s national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, from contesting the 2023 Presidency.
Lawal who stated this in an interview with a national daily added that such an action would incur the wrath of God on everyone.
The former SGF expressed dismay at some notable northerners desiring Presidency to be retained in their region. He added that it was time for power to shift to the South, especially the South-West region of the country.
He said it was laughable if the objective of the politicians, who he alleged to have masterminded the removal of the former party chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, was to oppose the alleged Tinubu’s presidential aspirations.
Lawal said, “Those who wanted Adams Oshiohmole out are more desperate because of 2023 because as a national chairman of a party, from my our own observation, there’s very little he could do to favour or impose a presidential candidate in his party.
“Nobody with a clear conscience in the APC will deny Tinubu the opportunity to contest the Presidency. Nobody within the party has the moral right to even put a stumbling block on his path.
“The party must create an environment that is free and fair for anybody who wants to contest, including Bola Tinubu. Let the delegates, who must have emerged through a similarly free and fair process, decide who they want to vote for.”
“Except we want to bring the wrath of God on our heads, because of his role in building the party, equity and a sense of justice demand that he be given a chance in a free and fair system and let his luck prevail.
Lawal added that the northern region’s hold onto power had been an albatross.
He said, “By the way, what did we get from several years of governance with the Presidency being from the North? Since the demise of General Sani Abacha, the country has been into crises of insecurity and poor economy.
“Along the line, we have also had vice-presidents who were northerners. We have had presidents who were northerners but for whatever reason, the system is not improving. Presidency from the North is like an albatross around our neck.”
The former SGF, therefore, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to support power rotation to the South to enable the emergence of his successor from the region.
“A just and equitable way of doing things is to agree, as gentlemen, that since the North has had its President for the second tenure, the opportunity should be given to the South to produce the next President,” he said.
Meanwhile, Governor of Yobe State, who is also the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Committee, Mai Mala Buni, described the purported Tinubu/Dogara ticket for the Presidency in 2023 as mere rumour.
Buni said, “These are mere rumour and rumour strive in democracy. That’s not even our concern for now. It is not even proper to start talking about 2023 when we have a seating President.
“People were surprised when Dogara joined us (APC). That’s how we will continue to spring surprises. In a democracy, people talk but 2023 is not even our priority now. We are working towards uniting the party.”