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National Convention: Zoning Presidency To North Unacceptable, Clark, Adebanjo, Other Leaders Insist

As the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), holds its primary elections to select its presidential standard-bearer this weekend in Abuja, the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum (SMBLF) has urged delegates to cast their votes for only credible aspirants from the South, warning that the unity and peace of Nigeria could be jeopardized if the delegates consent to the unwarrantable determinations being paraded.

The leaders, in a statement signed by Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark; Afenifere Leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo; President-General of Middle Belt Forum, Dr. Pogu Bitrus; and President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Ambassador George Obiozor, further warned that it would be totally unacceptable for the major political parties in the country to choose candidates from the north as standard-bearers for the 2023 presidency.

This, they said, is given the fact that the northern part of the country would have fully enjoyed the Presidency of the country for the full statutory period of eight years by 2023, under President Muhammadu Buhari, and therefore, asserts that the next president of Nigeria should come from the South, particularly the South-east.

The SMBLF sternly cautioned all persons from southern Nigeria including politicians, public servants, professionals and academics, not to accept, on any justification, the position of vice-president, adding that this will not only be a dishonourable legacy for them and generations after them but tantamount to slavishly mortgaging the political future of the people of southern Nigeria.

The leaders said: “They must only vote in the national interest to preserve the oneness of Nigeria. This country belongs to all of us and we all have equal stakes. Any attempt by any group of persons to hold on to political power in perpetuity to the exclusion of the rest of Nigeria will be disastrous.

“It bears reminding the political class that the basis of any viable democracy, especially in a diverse and complex country such as Nigeria, is fair and even sharing of power, accordingly, we restate our call on all lovers of peace and equity in Nigeria, particularly our people of southern Nigeria and Middle Belt region, to reject any political party that fails to zone its presidential ticket to the South.

“It is noted, without a doubt, that the nation is at a critical point, therefore, we strongly urge leaders of Nigeria; true patriots, statesmen and women, to intervene in the political process to save the country from the reckless endangerment of its future corporate existence by the avoidable intrigues and manoeuvres of some self-seeking politicians.”

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