Unite or Lose 2023 Presidency, Shehu Sani Tells Southwest /Southeast
*Says Revolution Is Inevitable In Face Of Injustice
Jide Oyekunle , ABUJA
Senator Shehu Sani, human right activist and politician has asked the Southeast and Southwest geopolitical regions to sort their differences and forge a common front or else play second fiddle to the north in the nation’s power equation beyond 2023.
Senator Sani said that unless the two regions unite, sustaining the clamour for power to shift to the south in 2023 may be a mirage . He said that certain conditions must be met to achieve a power shift.
Senator Sani spoke at an interactive session tagged “Correspondents Roundtable,” at the weekend in Abuja, where he reminded those currently holding the levers of power to always remember that power is transient.
Speaking in connection with the clampdown on political activist and convener of #RevolutionNow Omol Sowore , whose activism he said benefited those in power today, Sani insisted revolution now or in future, is inevitable so long as injustice continues to festers in the country.
According to Sani the benefit of multiethnic and civil war experience of Nigeria support the argument that power must shift to the south in 2023.
” On the issue of power shift, my position is that in a nation like ours, that has gone through the experiences of civil war, coup, ethnic and religious crisis, it will be unfair for one part of the country to use their demographic or topographic advantage to hold on to power, knowing that it was not the topography or demography that delivered them power from the beginning.
“So rotation of power is what I prescribed and I stood for. Whether that power should go to the East or West is dependent on people from the South.
“And what I will say is that there is a possibility of producing a Northern president in 2023 if the East and the West remain divided in their resolve. It is the division that will be exploited, by those who are proposing the issue of competence,” he said ,maintaining that it would be unfair for the North that has to hold on to power after 2023 .
The senator cautioned that the clampdown on opposition and persons with differing opinions by the Nigerian government as an invitation to chaos.
He noted that the government has the responsibility of respecting people’s right to free speech assembly with aim to express their views on national issues through a peaceful protests.
The vocal lawmaker in the 8th Senate said that citizens could be compelled to recourse to violence and mobster when prevented from expressing their opinion through a legitimate and peaceful protest.
Sanii said ” I said it repeatedly If people are desirous of protecting and defending their freedom through peaceful protest , the state has the constitutional responsibility to respect their rights and protect them to express their views.
” If you crush dissent and jail dissenters, you are forcing people to take the road of violence”
Senator Sani called on the government to respect the rule of law and stop indiscriminate arrest of Nigerians for expressing their opinions and using force to crush people with divergent views.
He condemned the physical attacks on the former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu in Nuremberg, Germany by some members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB saying it was reprehensive and uncivilized.
” Those who took to thuggery outside of the nation were inspired by the way protesters and dissenters are being treated by the state . There is no difference between the way my friend and brother ( Ekweremadu ) was treated in Numerberg with the way protesters were treated in Lagos and Abuja by the state apparatus .
” So the state is the main culprit in term of inspiring people to take road other than the one that is legitimate and lawful ”
He noted that the incident should be seen as lesson and wake up call for Nigerian government in hounding and vilifying innocent citizens who expressed their views against Buhari regime.
Sani said the national flag and anthems cannot unite a nation whose citizens were psychologically divided along ethnic and religion line. He added that the nation cannot be united without justice.
According to Sani ” Over a century after amalgamation and close to six decades since the flag that was granted by British . We all accept that we are still struggling to be one , united and be seen as a nation . The national flag cannot unite a nation when you don’t have justice . National anthem and national pledge cannot unite a nation when there is no justice .
” The coat of arm cannot unite a nation if we are divided psychologically, mentally and spiritually ”
On clampdown on Sowore he said the activist has done nothing wrong but instead has contributed in the emergence of the APC government.
“I cannot be mistaken to say many of those occupying position of power today in this government went to New York and met Sowore on many occasion to help them fight the former government.
” How do you turn and say the same person who spoke on justice and freedom five years ago is now the enemy . The enemy of President today are those who are pretending to be his friends . I have always reminded those in position of authority even before I became a senator and when I was a senator that power is temporary in the life . The life after power is longer than when in power” he said
He debunked the insinuation that he has been appointed as coordinator for Presidential ambition of Bola Ahmed Tinubu , Sani said the report was fake and unfounded adding that it was the handiwork of mischief makers. He therefore urged Nigerians to disregard the report.