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Power shift is nonsense

Posted by By KENNY ASHAKA, Kaduna on 2006/05/22 | Views: 460 |

Power shift is nonsense


With about eight months to next year’s general elections, President of the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria (SCSN), Dr. Ibrahim Datti Ahmed, says that there should be an open contest among the six geopolitical zones in the country instead of power being ceded to the North.

With about eight months to next year’s general elections, President of the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria (SCSN), Dr. Ibrahim Datti Ahmed, says that there should be an open contest among the six geopolitical zones in the country instead of power being ceded to the North.

According to Datti Ahmed, who spoke in Kaduna, after a meeting of Islamic clerics, "proper Nigeria should be governed without restriction, without zones and states," adding: "I don’t believe in zones and power shift."

Datti Ahmed, who warned Nigerians not to be deceived by President Olusegun Obasanjo’s perceived acceptance of defeat in the botched third term bid, said that it would amount to cheating for the North to lay claim to the presidency in 2007.

He said the contest for the nation's highest office in 2007 should be based on merit rather than parochial considerations and recommended that it should be thrown open to all Nigerians, irrespective of tribe, religion or ethnic bloc.

Said he: "Those who manipulated power from the North are northerners. They are now discredited idiots. They know that they have lost support and relevance in the North. Now they are saying ‘we gave them power; now they must give us back.’ Power is never given free.

"I don't believe in power shift. That is nonsense. That is the arrangement of criminals. The presidency should be opened to all, regardless of your tribe, religion or ethnic grouping. The government of Obasanjo, in the first place, was an arrangement by dubious characters who wanted to hide their past."
Asked if the North should then jettison its clamour for the presidency in 2007, Datti-Ahmed said: "Those who represented the North in the first arrangement were not fair," adding, "I would never have supported that power shifted to the South or to the West or to Obasanjo because I believe political contest should be free and open across the country.

"Proper Nigeria should be governed without restrictions, without zones and states. I don't believe in zones and powershift. I believe in free contest so that if I believe the best candidate is from Osun State, I should be free to elect him not because he comes from Yoruba or from Osun State but because he's, in my opinion, the best candidate.

"Once you start using zones and so on it is another way of cheating. Why should you nullify the right of a whole section of a country because of the arrangement of a few political crooks who want to share the loot?"
Speaking on Obasanjo's acceptance of the National Assembly's decision on third term, Datti Ahmed said the antecedents of the president was such that his statements should be scrutinized before believing him.
According to him, "this is round one of the battle. We must realize that these people, because of what they have done to Nigerians, will not rest until we have destroyed them completely. We are now inviting Nigerians to join hands and finish them off.

"Until a good candidate emerges in 2007 that will give Nigeria a road map to progress and peace, it is not yet over," Datti-Ahmed said, adding: "This is just one line he (Obasanjo) took. He had taken one before. He organized the National Political Reforms Conference. It was as if it succeeded, but it failed. He didn't give up. Now he has come up with this."
It would be recalled that the issue of rotation of power has pitted the North against the southern part of the country.

The northern establishment are demanding that the Presidency must return to the north in 2007, while the South-South and South-East say they would produce the President next year.

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