A former aide to President Muhammadu Buhari, on National Assembly Matters, Hon. Suleiman Sumaila, has said that the north will not relinquish power to the south in 2023 through blackmail.
He said the north would only cede power to the southern part of the country through negotiations, dialogue, consensus and understanding and not by ranting in the media.
Kawu stated this in a statement issued on Monday while reacting to an interview granted by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, where he said any political party that fields a northern candidate in the 2023 presidential election would lose.
He said that anywhere in the world, politics is a game of numbers, as such, either the north or south could use its numbers to decide who the next president would be.
Sumaila stressed that the likes of Ngige should bury their heads in shame for trying to intimidate and blackmail the North on the issue of the 2023 presidency.
He said: “I also want to make it clear that I have a lot of respect for Ngige. I worked closely with him during the formation of APC. But I felt it was important to make things clear on the issue of the 2023 presidency.
“So, nobody should try to bamboozle us today just because of 2023 presidency. If the north wants to contest, I don’t think anybody can stop it through intimidation. Let this sink in the minds of Ngige and his co-travelers.”
Sumaila pointed out that during the 2015 and 2019 presidential election, Ngige and his geopolitical zone did not contribute anything to the victory of the APC.
He added: “I think the likes of Ngige should be placed where they belong. You cannot come and try to intimidate the North in the media. Politics everywhere in the world is a game of numbers, and those that have the numbers can decide who leads them.
“I want to say without fear of contradiction that the North will not succumb to intimidation or blackmail of the likes of Ngige. The North can only cede power through peaceful negotiations and dialogue. Open confrontation will not give the south presidency.
“Maybe one should refresh Ngige’s memory. We were all in this country when Goodluck Jonathan contested and won the presidential election in 2011 even when it was the turn of the North to complete the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s tenure. Did the world come to an end then? Certainly no.”
2023: North won’t relinquish power to south through blackmail – Buhari’s ex-aide, Sumaila