The Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, has declared that the issue of rotational presidency was captured by the 1999 constitution.
The All Progressives Congress Chieftain, described the rotation of the presidency between Northern and Southern Nigeria as a legal and constitutional agitation recognised by Section 14 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
The National Chairman and former Nasarawa State Governor, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, had last week, said the party is yet to zone its ticket to any zone ahead of the 2023 elections, which had elicited negative reactions from Southern Nigeria.
But speaking in Ado Ekiti during an empowerment programme for his constituents across the five councils in the zone, Bamidele, who represents Ekiti Central, described the agitation for the presidency from politicians of Southern extraction, as a legitimate request.
Addressing journalists at the Oluyemi Kayode stadium, in Ado Ekiti, Bamidele said: “Rotational presidency is legitimate and constitutional.
“Let me state that Section 14 of the constitution and various sections of the 1999 Constitution, as amended indicates that no section of the country should dominate others in terms of positions.
“Let me also state that the primary concept of governance is the welfare and good governance. The Section emphasized that Nigeria shall not be governed in such a way that any particular section will have a domineering advantage over others.
“That is the whole essence of equitable distribution of wealth and power. Part of the equitable distribution of power is allowing the presidency to rotate between the North and South.
“Though the constitution didn’t say specifically about rotation, but logically and through various judicial interpretations, allowing it to rotate is legal and constitutional”.
Bamidele also added that allowing the presidency to return to the South in 2023 will douse the raging restiveness and tension in the country.
“Speaking as a Nigerian, there is social tension in Nigeria today and when you have situations whereby Nigerians are beginning to doubt our togetherness and no longer trust leadership, people should not be thinking about political dominance.
“There is no part of this nation and zone that cannot produce the best. If you check properly, the majority desire in APC is that there should be a free, fair and credible primary to elect our presidential candidate and not by imposition”, he said.