A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart in Bauchi State, Mallam Bibi Dogo, has said that the North-East geopolitical zone should, in the interest of fairness, justice, unity and brotherhood, be allowed to produce the next president of Nigeria in 2023.
Dogo said this in a statement he made available in Bauchi, submitting that the zone was the most backward in Nigeria today compared to other zones in terms of socioeconomic development.
According to him, the North-East is backward despite the huge mineral resources and its population of electorates.
Dogo stated that instead of rotating the presidential seat between North and South of the country, it should be rotated among the six geopolitical zones of the country to ensure inclusiveness and proper circulation of power.
“I called for zoning of the presidency to the North East, specifically with a special focus on Bauchi State, because it is the only zone that is yet to produce a president in either civilian or military arrangement. It is the one which should produce the same in 2023.
“Apart from two gentlemen, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the first Prime Minister of Nigeria and then Atiku Abubakar, who was a one-time Vice President of Nigeria, North East has not had any leader at the top.
“We in the North East are out to pursue the course of justice and fairness in the polity as a condition for peace and progress of the country,” Dogo stated, submitting that capturing the six geopolitical zones in the rotation would ensure inclusion and national unity.
He stated that the North East was the most neglected zone in Nigeria, which accounted for its backwardness in all aspects, adding that to worsen the situation, the zone more than any other zone had been badly hit by the challenges facing the country.
“Due to the many years of neglect, the North East occupies the lowest rung of the country’s socio-economic ladder as poverty, insecurity, unemployment, hunger, power outage and poor infrastructure are most predominant in this part of the country.
“With the highest number of IDPs camps and out-of-school children on the continent, reputable global institutions have also declared the North East as the most unsafe place to live in sub-Saharan Africa,” he lamented.
Dogo submitted that the zone was not fairly treated in terms of states and local governments creation despite its large land mass and population.
According to him, the zone with six states had a total of 120 local government areas viz Borno (27); Adamawa (29);Taraba (17); Bauchi (20); Gombe (11) and Yobe (17), adding that South West and North Central which were not as big as the North-East had 154 and 165 LGAs respectively.
He stated further that, “yet, this is the same part of the country that is most strategic to the country’s corporate existence and territorial integrity, sharing borders with strategic neighbours.
“This same North East boasts of veritable water resources, fantastic tourism potential, the most arable land and conducive climate for agriculture, expansive landmass for all manner of economic activities as well as abundant mineral resources and crude oil deposits.”
Dogo declared that, “what the North East needs is leadership and quality attention from the Federal Government.”
While asserting that zoning the presidency to any particular geopolitical zone of the country is at the discretion of political parties, Dogo said the North East should be given the opportunity to produce the next president come 2023.
“In all fairness, we should allow the North-East to produce the next President and even in the North East, we should ensure that the President comes from Bauchi State as a compensation to Prime Minister (Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa).
“I want all political parties to give their presidential tickets to Bauchi State in North Eastern Nigeria. But if that is not possible by the calculation of the political parties, they should ensure that justice and fairness dominate what they want to do in terms of zoning the presidency.
“I belong to the PDP and I believe the PDP will allow justice and fair play to play out. It is not debatable, North East should have it in the best interest of unity of the country and Bauchi State will be the golden choice of the candidate in the interest of justice and compensation to the state,” Dogo stated.