Prince Dayo Adeyeye, a former Senator who represented Ekiti South Senatorial District is the Chairman and Coordinator of South West Agenda for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu (SWAGA). On this interview with TEMIDAYO AKINSUYI, he speaks on the mission of the group and the controversy over zoning of presidential ticket in 2023. Excerpts:
What’s SWAGA 2023 all about and what’s your place on the zoning controversy in APC?
There will likely be a presidential election in 2023 by the grace of God and by the precept that all of us agreed, although not forged in stone, however it’s usually agreed amongst politicians of all political divides that the presidency ought to rotate between the North and the South. It is just honest sufficient that we must always rotate in a really various nation like this the place our democracy remains to be very nascent and fragile. There are such a lot of centrifugal forces pulling us apart, we have to guarantee equity to all sections of the nation.
We have to rotate between North and South. I consider there’s a gentleman’s settlement in all of the political events that now, after eight years within the North, the presidency ought to come all the way down to the South. We now have not microzoned to the six geo-political zones of Nigeria; that’s we now have not agreed that it needs to be zoned to the South- South; South-East or South-West or the opposite zones. There is no such thing as a normal settlement on that however there’s a normal concept that the Presidency ought to rotate between North and South. That was why within the 2007 presidential election, the PDP and President Obasanjo gave Yar’Adua the possibility. Those that contested that 12 months had been primarily northerners; the like of Atiku Abubakar, Umaru Yar’Adua, Muhammadu Buhari and the election was gained by Yar’Adua. Sadly, Yar’A dua couldn’t full his first time period after which Goodluck Jonathan got here in.
The issue that we had then when Jonathan was president was that the Northerners felt that South did eight years with Obasanjo as President and with Jonathan; they’d already completed one other 6 years. They felt if Jonathan was to have a second time period, that can quantity to Southerners doing like 18 years with the north having completed simply two years. So, there was this excessive stress which I noticed as a politician. That stress that the North was being shortchanged and they need to have the presidency in 2015 began build up in 2011. That was why this coalition to get Jonathan out in any respect value befell.
They succeeded and President Buhari got here in in 2015. As of as we speak, the South has had the presidency for about 13 years; the north has completed eight years. So, it ought to come all the way down to the South now in order that the South can have a style of it in 2023 as a result of by then, the North would have completed 10 years. We within the South-West are a part of the south of Nigeria and the South-West has the appropriate to contest for it.
Kebbi state governor, Atiku Bagudu mentioned APC governors should not for zoning however they need the presidential ticket to be thrown open to all aspirants. What’s your tackle that?
Completely I’ve nothing in opposition to the thought of throwing the presidential ticket open. Even when a celebration make pronouncement as we speak that the presidency is zoned to a specific place, I can guarantee you that folks from different areas will nonetheless come out. However it’s within the thoughts of the individuals to say that we now have zoned the ticket to a specific place. So, if you come to the sphere, they are going to defeat you as a result of it’s possible you’ll not get the required votes. However so long as the structure of Nigeria says you could not discriminate in opposition to anyone, so a political social gathering can have an inner association to say we’re zoning a specific place to a specific place. Another individuals could disagree they usually have a proper to. So, you permit and go to the sphere.
For the reason that majority believes within the zoning association, you’ll have your means. That’s the means it really works in politics. In 2007, it wasn’t solely Umaru Musa Yar’Adua that got here out, some individuals got here out within the South too. They may be minor candidates however they nonetheless got here out. That’s the means it usually works. Are you going to bar Ayade as a bonafide citizen of Nigeria from contesting if he says he needs to contest? The reply isn’t any. Yahaya Bello mentioned he’s within the presidency though he’s from the North-Central, are you able to say he has no proper? He has a proper to contest so long as the structure of Nigeria permits it. So, we now have nothing in opposition to that assertion by Bagudu that they need to throw the ticket open as a result of that’s what I count on anyone from that political place to say.
If I used to be requested the identical query, I’ll say ‘Governor Ayade, you might be welcome to our social gathering and you might be free to contest for presidency in case you need’. Someone is becoming a member of your social gathering and also you say he can not contest. That isn’t a politically right factor to do. When the governor of Ebonyi joined APC, he was equally welcomed. He went to see the President and the President put his arms round him and mentioned he has a proper similar to each different particular person. He can aspire for no matter place he needs in APC.
The South West has produced the presidency in Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. The South- South has additionally produced in Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. Don’t you suppose if the presidency is zoned to the South, then it ought to go to the South- East?
I believe that could be a very official query. It’s completely official. However to the extent that microzoning shouldn’t be usually acceptable for now, let all people within the South come out and contest for it. The presidency of Nigeria is just too necessary to be awarded to anyone who’s sitting in his home. You need to wrestle for it.
Political energy is rarely served a la carte. You see the type of issues Individuals undergo when they’re contesting for presidency. For nearly two years, they run major and different issues earlier than the election. That tends of you going around the nation of assembly all types of individuals. As a journalist, what’s my enterprise going to the individuals within the village? However once I contested for senatorial election, I needed to meet all people together with merchants, artisans and so forth. So, politics shouldn’t be served a la carte. South-West won’t sit again and say we’re awarding it to South-East.
Let everybody carry out his personal candidate. If persons are persuaded extra that your candidate is extra certified and in any case, his zone has not produced the presidency, perhaps they’ll think about that. But when we don’t come out to mission our personal man, the presidency could not even come to the South. For instance, Yar’Adua was from Katsina state within the North West, why did individuals not say North-West has produced, subsequently Buhari ought to give it to a different particular person? They mentioned North and Buhari who’s from the identical Katsina nonetheless emerged. If the factor goes again to the North once more after the South has produced, it may nonetheless go to Katsina within the Northwest if the opposite zones should not prepared and ready. That’s the reason South-West is projecting its personal candidate. We don’t say different individuals don’t have a proper to mission their very own however I can’t be the one coming from Ekiti to go to the South-East and South- South to say ‘come out and contest for presidency’. That’s the reason we name it South-West Agenda.
The South- West has come out to tasks its personal candidate and we consider our candidate is prepared and succesful. He has sown seeds around the nation and they’re bearing fruits now. There’s all chance that by the grace of God, he’ll make it in 2023. That’s the reason we’re working arduous for him.
Asiwaju Tinubu has not indicated curiosity in contesting for 2023. With all of your efforts, what if he declines to contest and determined to assist one other aspirant?
Actually, I don’t have any assurance from Asiwaju Tinubu that he’s contesting however I can inform you that he’ll contest. He won’t again out from the presidential race. He can not again out as a result of there are forces in politics that won’t make it attainable for him to again out. I’m telling you that though Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has not given us any assurance however you may as well be fairly positive that a few of us in SWAGA with our little expertise won’t be losing our time if we don’t suppose that he’ll come out and do it. I’m telling you that by the grace of God he’ll come out and contest for the presidency. I don’t have assurance from him however we all know our efforts can’t be in useless.