Rep Member Proposes Bill to Disqualify Tinubu, Others from 2027 Presidential Race

by Ohepo Ohepo

The country’s North-West, South-West, and South-South geopolitical zones could not be able to field a presidential candidate in the general election of 2027 if ongoing efforts to revise pertinent sections of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) succeed.

A bill titled “For an Act to alter the provisions of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) to make provisions for rotation of power among the geopolitical zones, senatorial zones, and federal constituencies in presidential, governorship, and senatorial elections in Nigeria” is presently before the House of Representatives Committee on Constitution Review, according to information obtained exclusively by Sunday PUNCH.

If approved into law, the proposed legislation—which is supported by Ojema Ojetu, a member representing Apa/Agatu Federal Constituency in Benue State—would prohibit regions that have given birth to Nigeria’s presidents since the country’s restoration to democratic governance in 1999.

The bill inserts sub-sections 2, 3, and 4 into the country’s current laws in an attempt to amend Section 133 of the constitution.

“The Office of the President of Nigeria shall revolve around the six geo-political zones, with each state holding the office for a maximum of two terms of four years each, to give every section and state in Nigeria a sense of inclusion, participation, and representation in Nigeria’s democracy,” according to sub-section 2 of the bill, which Sunday PUNCH exclusively obtained a copy of.

Section 4 of the bill states that the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s Constitution (as amended) will be taken into consideration on May 29, 1999, as the effective date for the rotation of power. Subsection 3 of the bill states that any zone in Nigeria that has produced a President of the Federal Republic shall not be eligible to produce another President until the other zones take their turns.

In addition, Ojotu, a Peoples Democratic Party member, claims that the bill aims to add sub-sections 6 and 7 to the 1999 Constitution.

While section (7) states that “Every senatorial zone in a state which has produced governor of that state in a democratically conducted election shall not be eligible to produce governor, unless and until other senatorial zones produce governors of the state,” section (6) of the proposed law states that “The office of the governor of a state in Nigeria shall revolve around all the three senatorial zones in the state, to give every indigene of the state a sense of inclusion, participation, and representation in the development of the state.”

However, Ojotu’s proposed legislation goes further, attempting to amend Section 48 of the Constitution by adding sub-sections 1 (a) and (b).

“Senatorial election shall rotate round all federal constituencies in the Senatorial zone to give a sense of inclusion, participation, and representation in the constituencies to engineer social progress and development,” according to 1(a) of the statute. “Every federal constituency in a senatorial district which has produced a senator shall not be eligible to produce a senator, unless and until all other federal constituencies produce a senator,” states clause (b).

Once political independence was achieved in 1960, the North Central region has produced solely military heads of state and never an elected president.

Olusegun Obasanjo was chosen by the people of Ogun State, in the southwest of the country, in 1999 after democracy was restored. He was re-elected in 2003 and continued to hold office until May 29, 2007.

In 2007, the late Umaru Yar’ Adua of Katsina State succeeded Obasanjo.

Following Yar’Adua’s 2010 death, Goodluck Jonathan (South-South), the vice president at the time, obtained the People’s Democratic Party ticket and went on to win the 2011 presidential election.

Jonathan gave the reins to the current president, Bola Tinubu of Lagos State, South-West Nigeria, in 2023 after losing his second attempt at the presidency in 2015 to Muhammadu Buhari, another Katsina State native.

The state assemblies would need to endorse Ojotu’s measure in order for it to pass, even if he were to receive the legislative approval of his colleagues in Abuja.

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