3rd October, 2021
Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Human Virology of Nigeria, Dr Patrick Dakum, said in Abuja on Sunday that Nigeria is not ripe to jettison rotational presidency.
Dakum told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that while getting the most qualified Nigerians as president was important, a rotational presidency in 2023 would foster unity.
He said each region of the country had qualified Nigerians to rule the nation.
“My view about the rotational presidency is that we are not ripe enough to jettison the system. We have not gotten to that stage.
“We have not arrived at the point where we can say the presidential seat should be based totally on credentials, irrespective of where the candidate comes from.
“Nigeria is such that now, every region has people that can run this country. It means that what people want is to continue to solidify unity and have a sense of belonging.
“If you have the leadership not going round in terms of the regions, it means some parts of the country will feel that unity is theoretical. For me, for now, let us maintain zoning,’’ Dakum said.
He added that even when the seat is zoned to a particular region, the region should strive to produce the best candidate for the position.
“Having said that rotation should be sustained does not mean that the region to produce the candidate should not work at producing a good one,’’ he said.
Dakum advised that since zoning still remained a gentlemanly agreement, no qualified Nigerian should be denied the opportunity of contesting for the position of president.
“Since the Constitution does not clearly spell out rotation, it means you can’t stop someone from anywhere from contesting. It is only a gentlemanly agreement to ensure that unity is certain.
“Let us continue that gentlemanly agreement until we are ripe enough to add skills and other credentials,’’ he stressed.