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NEF: North may not support power shift to South in 2023

The Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF) through its spokesman Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, on Wednesday, said, the region may reject the return of the Nigerian presidency to the Southern region in 2023.

The Southern Governors Forum had on Monday demanded the return of power to the region in two years’ time.

In a communiqué issued at the end of their meeting in Lagos, the governor declared that the region must produce the country’s next president in 2023.

The NEF spokesman, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, who appeared on Channels Television’s Politics Today program, however, said the Southerners’ approach to the 2023 presidential race may offend sensitive northerners.

He argued many people in the north may be discouraged from voting for a Southerner as president with the manner governors and leaders of the region are going about their demand for the presidency.

Baba-Ahmed reminded the governors and people of Southern Nigeria that votes and not agitations determine who becomes the country’s president.

He said: “You read in between the lines of their well-crafted communiqué 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.”


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