Northern Elders Forum says the North may not support the agitation for the rotation of Nigeria’s presidency to the Southern region in 2023 unless they, among other conditions, assure Northerners of the benefits they stand to get from such an arrangement
NEF spokesman, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed stated that many Northerners may not be too disposed to voting for a presidential candidate from the South due to the way and manner the Southern governors and leaders are going about their agitation for power shift.
Baba-Ahmed stated this while reacting on Channels TV to the outcome of Monday’s Southern Governors’ Forum meeting held in Lagos and its endorsement of rotation.
The Southern governors had during the meeting agreed that the South should be allowed to produce the president of the country in 2023 general elections.
But the NEF spokesman alleged that the Southerners are making the demand in a “wrong manner” that may offend sensitive northerners.
He said that the Southern governors and lawmakers should note that votes and not agitations determine who becomes the president in 2023.
Baba-Ahmed added that the Southerners would have to convince the North on what its people stand to benefit if they shift power to the South.
He also said there must be a convincing reason and right candidate for the North to elect a southerner.
The NEF spokesman said, “You read in between the lines of their well-crafted communique that says that they want basically a southern presidency. It is not wrong. That means the North needs to yield the presidency to the southern part of the country. There is nothing wrong with that.
“The problem is the manner it is being pursued this time by people who were elected on the basis of the constitution, who understand that politics is about getting up and convincing people rather than just sitting down and say ‘we want this, we want that.’ That’s wrong.
“Two, they must know that the manner they are doing this, not what they are looking for, but the manner in which they are doing it is likely to cause more problem for them than solve the problems
“But the problem is to get the North to say, ‘Ok, show us why it is better. Show us why a southern presidency is the best for the North and the rest of Nigeria.’ This is a democratic country. Citizens vote. Nigerians, irrespective of where they are, will vote. Political parties have to do the hard work.”