- Dares APC leaders to produce evidence
By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
A two term former Governor of Zamfara State, Sani Yarima, has declared that the North has no agreement with the South West during the merger talks, even as he challenged the leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the region to produce evidence to that effect if they claim that there was such zoning agreement before the merger.
Recall that the Minister for Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, had during an interactive session with journalists in Abuja, challenged the northern politicians to respect zoning agreement they entered into with the South Western politicians before the merger with the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), dominant in the South West.
However, Yarima, a senator, while fielding questions from journalists in Abuja, declared his intention to contest for the 2023 presidency, adding that he has more than thirty million followers from across the country, who are ready to support him to victory.
He said the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria guarantees him to contest the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2023, adding that if an agreement is not written, it could not be tendered anywhere as being projected by the South West politicians.
He said “I don’t think there is anything like agreement. You can ask Mr President, he led the group, Asiwaju (Bola Tinubu) was there, I was part of it. There was no meeting I didn’t attend or any meeting that I attended that there is such agreement. Agreement can’t be verbal; it has to be written. In any case, any agreement that is contrary to laws of this country is not an agreement.
“The Constitution is very clear, the Constitution of the political parties, the Electoral Act. We are in a democracy and democracy is governed by processes and procedures and bye – laws. So the Constitution of Nigeria doesn’t recognize anything called zoning and likewise check APC Constitution. If there is that agreement why didn’t we put it in the Constitution?
“So, nobody will just come and say that there is an agreement, take your Constitution and amend it, put that agreement if there is then nobody will come from another side and work against the Constitution.
“As a democrat, as a citizen of Nigeria, I can aspire based on the laws of Nigeria. The Nigerian Constitution has given rights and privilege to every citizen which believes he has something to offer to aspire for any office, irrespective of his state of origin, his tribe, ethnicity, religion; you have right, the Constitution has given us guarantee to participate in the political process.”
He also denied the rumour that he is reviving the defunct All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) and rallying his colleague 1999 governors for his presidential ambition by saying the ANPP is defunct.
“You see, we have the APC and the merger is being consummated and we’re operating a political party. ANPP is gone, Nigerian Governors Forum, 1999 to 2011is an association of people that have shared interest. In politics, you will not be surprised, James Ibori who is in PDP is a very close friend of mine, he can support me. So, once you are contesting you reach out to all shades of opinion and people from all walks of life in Nigeria, explain to them your ambition, explain to them your programmes and what do you want to achieve, what do you want to offer for Nigeria, if they share the same opinion with you they can be in another party and they can vote for you.
“Right now, when I started this mobilization I developed an application which I will show you after this interaction and that application is being downloaded in android or iPhone and I have forms that are printed carrying the same information that we need to upload to the system. My objective of doing that is to see that before I officially declare, I will have at least 30 – 40 million supporters and I assure you I have the capacity to achieve that. I already have very close to two million people all over the country. I have more than 4000 supporters in Imo, I have more than 7000 supporters who have declared their interest to support me in Enugu State, I have over 400,0000 supporters in Katsina State, different states, PDP, APC.
“That’s why I said your ability to mobilize Nigerians across party to vote for you. It’s not your party members that support you. You will see some people who are senior leaders of a political party coming to support a candidate that they believe have something to offer”, he said.