2023: APC must think beyond zoning to retain power – Ex-Rep Jaji

Aminu Sani Jaji, is the immediate past chairman, House Committee on Internal Security and governorship aspirant on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara State. In this interview, he speaks on APC’s road to the 2023 general elections and how to tackle the current security challenges bedeviling the nation.

There are speculations that your governor, Bello Matawalle, is perfecting plans to defect to the APC. Will you be comfortable in the event he finally defects to the ruling party?

There are a lot of insinuations that he is coming to APC. If he is coming to APC, he is welcome. Even ordinary individuals are joining our party and this one is an incumbent governor. We have no right whatsoever to deny him. If he says he wants to come to APC, he is welcome. Anybody that says he wants to join your house, he knows that your house is better than his own. So if he wants to come, he is welcome. But that rumour has been debunked on social media.

Is it that you people need Matawalle to win Zamfara for the APC in the next election?

It is not about an incumbent governor joining the party and having an automatic ticket. It is not going to happen. We have a leader in the state, that is the former governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, he is the party leader. As I’m talking to you now, there are many people who are aspiring to be the governor of Zamfara State. I think they are more than five. And at the end of the day, only one of them will emerge victorious. So even if the governor comes he may be number six or seven. So it is not even an issue.

Are you confident that the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee will organise a national convention at the expiration of its tenure in June? 

Already, there is a committee in place that will look at the issue of convention; when and how to do it. So we are waiting for them to come up with modalities and how the convention will look like. But I don’t want to pre-empt them. When they come up with a programme, we will key into it. There is no problem with that.

You know a lot of people are agitating that I need the national chairman to come to my zone, so this one is subject to what the committee set up by the party would do. The issue of zoning is an internal arrangement. If they zone the national chairmanship to the North Central and somebody says he is going to run, nobody will stop him. What I’m saying is that the party is only doing that to bring harmony among party members and I believe that at the end of the day, whatever they come up with, all party members will abide by it.

Even the issue of how to zone the presidency, for me the idea of zoning the presidency, honestly, I’m not in support of that completely. Anybody who feels that strongly he wants to contest for the president of Nigeria, it is not only his party members who will vote for him. So let that person win the hearts of the masses and contest. The issue of zoning is not even in our constitution. Maybe you want to contest presidency, then you have the supporters, you have the people that want you to govern them and they say no, they didn’t zone it to your side it means you are disenfranchising someone.

So the issue of zoning, I think we have to de-campaign that. Anybody who wants to be president, he is a politician, let him go round the 36 states of the federation including the FCT so that the people if they agree with him, let them vote for him.



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