Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said that the zoning arrangement for political offices in Nigeria should be respected ahead of the 2023 elections, throwing his weight behind his Works and Housing counterpart and former governor Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola, over the zoning of the Presidency come 2023.
Speaking during a Channels TV programme on Sunday, ‘Politics Today,’ Amaechi said that the arrangement, which is usually between the North and South, should remain the same.
In Nigeria, political offices — especially the presidency — are rotated on the basis of geographical zones, from the time of Olusegun Obasanjo, up till the administration of President Muhamadu Buhari, who is from Katsina state.
Some Nigerians have started clamouring that the Presidency should return to the South with the 2023 election.
Asked by the anchor of the programme, Seun Okinbaloye, if the All Progressives Congress, APC, will consider giving the South-East a chance for the Presidency in 2023, Amaechi responded, “It is a difficult question for me to respond to. I just believe that the zoning, which was done in the North and South should be respected, just like Fashola said.”
The minister, who is from Rivers State, also said it is “a bit too early” to have conversations about contesting for President either in 2023 or afterwards.
He said, “The best conversation to have now is how to deliver on the railway, maritime as it pertains to the responsibility assigned to me by the president.
“Why not allow me to complete the responsibility that has been given to me by the president which is being the minister of transportation.”
Amaechi’s comments align with that of Fashola, who said about a week ago that the APC must respect its zoning agreement, which would see a Southerner replace Buhari.
However, some notable politicians from the North, including Nasir el-Rufai have opposed zoning of political offices.
The Kaduna State governor said competence trumps power-sharing.