However, he insisted ““To our friends and brothers in the South-South and South-East particularly, only God gives power but you have to negotiate for power. Negotiation becomes easier when you make friends across the divide. If we negotiate for power, we don’t always get everything we want, but we will normally mention every clause that covers everything we need.”
He faulted the suspicion that any part of the country could not be trusted with power, perhaps for the fear of secession.
He stressed that there was a need for fairness in the country, adding that marginalisation had become the loudest concern from the citizenry.
He spoke in Lagos on Friday at the 17th Chief Gani Fawehinmi annual lecture, themed ‘The constitutional history of Nigeria’s dysfunction: Any pathway to indivisibility and common progress?’ which was an event organised by the Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja Branch, to celebrate the life and times of the late Fawehinmi.
The governor said, “I’m persuaded that other sections of the country should be given the opportunity to lead in 2023, why not? It is constitutional. Consequently, my response to the question posed by the theme of this programme is that yes, there are pathways to indivisibility and common progress; we must collectively agree that we need to do more to demonstrate fairness to every constituent part that made up this country. That is the constitution.
“We need to understand that pedestrian suspicion is not an empirical or legal reason to deny any section of the country from participation in the leadership of this country. We are fast moving towards a point of inevitable tension.
“One of the loudest concerns from the public is marginalisation. Therefore, we must as a matter of necessity create an environment that is conducive for everyone. People must feel the impact of the government and that government is responding.”
The governor also said south-easterners should negotiate for power rather than expect others to leave it for them.