I’m Gunning for Presidency in 2023, Ahmad Yarima Says, Dismissing Zoning
Former Governor of Zamfara state, Ahmad Sani Yarima has declared his ambition to gun for the presidency in Nigeria, saying there has not been any zoning arrangement within his ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
At a media interface on Wednesday in Abuja, Yarima said he had on three occasions since 2006 downplayed his presidential ambition in difference to President Muhammadu Buhari, adding that in 2023, he would exercise his right to contest.
The three times senator denied knowledge of any agreement to zone the party’s presidential ticket to any zone or arrangement to reward Asiwaju Bola Tinubu with APC presidential ticket come 2023.
He was reacting to an insinuation that a pre-merger agreement on zoning may affect your aspiration.
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.
Justifying the possibility of him succeeding President Buhari who is from Katsina, a North-West state while he is from Zamfara, also a North-West state, Yarima said “Can I give you example of America, George Bush (Snr) was President, George Bush (Jnr) became President. They from the same family not from the same state, not from the same zone. This is democracy, if Nigerians decides to vote for Yarima, so it be”.
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.
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