Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere has backed calls by the Southern Governors’ Forum for the Presidency to be zoned to the South for the 2023 general elections.
The position of the group was made known on Wednesday in a statement by its National General Secretary, Mr Sola Ebiseni in Akure.
The statement, titled ‘Power rotation in the Nigerian federation: Presidency must return to the South’, read: “The resolution of the Southern Governors Forum insisting that the next President of Nigeria should come from the South of the country is not new.
“The governors only lent gubernatorial authority to a national consensus on the issue. The fact that, since 1999, the office of the President has been rotated between the South and North in a consistent row of Olusegun Obasanjo, Umar Yar’Adua, Goodluck Jonathan and the present, President Muhammadu Buhari, is not an accident.
“It is a national consensus that has ensured peaceful transition of power in the polity. This national political understanding has endured notwithstanding that, since Independence in 1960 up to 1999 (39 years), the North has virtually monopolised the leadership of Nigeria as Prime Minister, President or Military Head of State, except for the three and half years of accidental emergence of Olusegun Obasanjo as Military Head of State.
“It is therefore gibberish to suggest that power should return to the north after 8 years of President Buhari on the ground that President Umar Yar’ Adua, elected on 29th May 2007, and died May 5, 2010, could not complete 8 years thereby supposedly depriving the north of some 4 years.
“The concept of power rotation seeks to fuse together and give the component Nigerian ethnic nationalities a sense of belonging for practical expression to the inevitable quest for national integration in the process of nation building.”
The statement also called on political stakeholders from the South not to be lured into the “unpatriotic step of seeking such other positions as National Chairmen of the main political parties, but join forces to demand and ensure that the Presidency moves to the South in 2023. This resolution stands sacrosanct.”