The Governor of Ondo State, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, on Friday warned political parties in the country not to consider fielding northern candidates for the presidential position in the 2023 election.
The governor spoke in an interview with Channels Television.
According to Akeredolu, who spoke on the resolution of the Southern Governors’ Forum at the recent meeting in Enugu, the presidency must be zoned to the South for the sake of justice and fairness.
Akeredolu said, “There are about three political parties that are in the Southern Governors’ Forum, we have the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress. All of us are unanimous in our position that the next president of this country must come from the South.
“For us, we are unanimous. It (the forum) is not a political platform. I believe that any party that picks somebody from the North would have to face the whole southern region because they will not support it.
“It has to come from the South. We are saying that there must be what I will call rotation. The justice of it and the fairness in it are what we are preaching. If my president – President Buhari — has been in office for eight years, it can’t be from the North. The next president must come from the South.”
On the criticism that competence should override zoning for the 2023 election, Akeredolu said there were competent persons both in the northern and southern regions.
He maintained that “There are many people that are competent. We have competent people in the North as we have competent people in the South, so the president can come from any part of the country.”