The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere have stated that the rotation of the Nigerian presidency between the North and the South is not negotiable.
Both groups explained that for the sake of justice and equity, the presidency must be moved to the South in 2023 general elections.
According to the Secretary General of Afenifere, Sola Ebiseni, the subject of rotational presidency between the North and South was a national consensus.
He said the 2014 National Conference passed a resolution on power transition.
In the words of Ebiseni:
The political culture since 1999 at the return to democratic rule is that the office of the President of Nigeria is rotated between the North and South. With that trend, it is clear, for the sake of equity in the Nigerian federation that the next president of Nigeria should come from the southern region of the country.
For those who claim that because (Umaru) Yar’Adua could not complete his eight-year term, and that is the reason the North did not have an extra four years, the argument does not stand in the face of logic, morality and equity without bearing in mind the unaccounted 39 years that the North had occupied the leadership of Nigeria almost exclusively.
He said the Afenifere has voiced its support for the Southern Governors’ assertion that Nigeria’s next President should be from the south.
Continuing, he said “As a result of that announcement, every governor in the South should be courteous enough to follow it. At the 2014 National Conference, it was also decided that the presidency of Nigeria should be alternated between the north and the south. It is a national agreement.
However, Ken Robinson, a spokesman for PANDEF, also said that “anyone who claims the North has the voting capacity to stay in power until 2023 and beyond is lying and working against justice, fairness, and equity.
“It is human nature; man is a selfish being, and if you allow the northerners, they would want to rule for 30 years. They know the benefits they have appropriated to themselves in the nepotistic Buhari administration”.
Robinson noted that it is up to the people of southern Nigeria, to stay firm and remain steadfast in their belief that, after eight years of a northern presidency, fairness, justice, and equality demand that power be returned to the south and the southern Nigerian mindset should be that the power shift is unavoidable.
Robinson concluded that:
As we have always insisted, the numbers they are touting (as their voting strength) do not exist. If they do, why are they not being reflected in school enrolments, in the internally generated revenues of their states, the VAT collections in the northern states, electricity consumption in the states?
The solidarity being demonstrated by the southern governors shows that there is a reawakening. What they have been thriving on is the disunity of the South.