Ahead of the 2023 presidential election, a former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), has called for the zoning and rotation of the presidency among the six geo-political zones of the country.
This, he said, remained paramount for tranquility, development and growth of the country.
Gowon, who spoke yesterday at the 100th anniversary of the Barewa Old Boys Association (BOBA) on the topic: “Barewa College at Centenary, Past Present and Future,” also recommended that there should be two vice presidents, one from the zone where the president hails and the other should be elected and voted to power during the presidential election.
“Also, among the 19 northern states the Nigerian presidential position should be rotated,” he said.
He stated that no ethnic group is better outside the nation than inside as one united Nigeria. He noted that Insecurity was giving the northern region a bad name and image.
The former Nigerian leader noted: “Insecurity is giving the northern region a bad name and image and the need to make the North peaceful again cannot be overemphasized.
“Boko Haram, banditry, kidnapping have threatened the peace and tranquillity needed for educational development in our land.
“Insecurity in any nation threatens development, law and order. Insecurity must be ruthlessly dealt with collectively to pave way for the development of the education sector and development.”
He also said the governorship position in all states of the federation should be rotated among the three senatorial districts in each state, adding that this would help lessen the burden and cry for marginalisation.
Gowon stressed the need for the nation to be united, saying any attempt to scrap the powers of local governments should be rejected.
He said, “Barewa College has produced leaders in all facets of life. Barewa College alumnus has been working together for the development of the North and Nigeria.
“The federal government and 19 northern states governors support the school and its sister colleges.
“Although the school has also suffered neglect, with a change of leadership it is gradually improving and more hard work is required to sustain the momentum.”
He also advised BOBA to be more concerned about the future of the northern states as the region remains poor according to WHO indices.
On his part, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, said children of the poor in the North often described as (talakawas) were never prevented from going to school.
Debunking a statement that the northern elite did not allow the children of the talakawa to go to school, the sultan said such statement was false and should be disregarded.
Speaking at the event, the sultan said every northerner should speak against the statement.
“As a child, I attended the same school with children of our Dogara and Talakawa,” he said.
He also stressed the need to support girl-child education, saying the girl-child remained one of the best children to train because she in turn manages the home and trains children to behave positively in society.
“We will continue to support and educate our children. If we are against education why are we spending millions to train our children,” he stated.
He also praised General Yakubu Gowon (rtd) for speaking up and proffering solutions to some of the salient issues in the country.
He added that dialogue remained the best solution to solve the nation’s problems.
For his part, President Muhammadu Buhari said his administration remained committed to lifting over 100 million Nigerians from poverty in the next 10 years.
Speaking at the 100th anniversary of the Barewa Old Boys Association (BOBA) in Abuja yesterday, the president said there was need to be decisive on innovation, creativity and capacity building to grow as a nation as 40 percent of Nigeria’s population is under 15 years.
Buhari who was represented by his chief of staff Ibrahim Agboola said the need to promote and encourage capacity building to aid growth and development can’t be overemphasized.
He said BOBA had remained committed to the greatness of the nation and had been true to its motto over the years.
“The greatness of any institution is sustained by the values promoted. Barewa College has played an important role in the development of the country. The school has placed an indelible mark in all walks of life. Any institution that is celebrating centenary should be applauded and commended.
“We must learn from history to take stock and be proactive about the future,” he said.