The Second Republic Vice President Alex Ekwueme has said that rotational presidency should be maintained because, “If Yar’adua was alive he would have taken his automatic ticket as agreed upon.”
In an interview with the BBC Hausa Service in London, the former vice president argued that he was part of the agreement that saw the reaching of the agreement of the rotational presidency during President Olusegun Obasanjo administration.
“It was a gentlemanly agreement which was overwhelmingly agreed upon, and I bet you, Yar’adua would have completed his tenure but for the unfortunate death that took him away,” he said.
He said that zoning of the presidency clause was included in the 1995 Constitution during the National Constitutional Conference as part of efforts to unite the country. That effort was, “Unfortunately truncated by the regime of Abdulsalami Abubakar which amended the constitution and removed that portion.”
He explained the essence of zoning saying that, “We said the option was to make it a constitutional matter and we unanimously agreed to put it in the 1995 constitution to go round for 30 years with all regions taking their slots; but unfortunately Abubakar who was in a hurry to handover to civilians cancelled that portion and in fact rejected entirely the 1995 constitution which I think was one of the best for this country.”
Ekwueme said that despite that, “Still, because of the importance of the issue when we came in the PDP we created the rotational arrangement so that the South and the North would have taken eight years term each and already Obasanjo had done his own for the South and if Yar’adua was alive he would have completed his own eight years, meaning nobody would be talking about this or that by now.”