Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Southern Leaders Condemn Northern Governors Opposition To Power Shift In 2023

 Stakeholders in the South, including  have taken on northern governors over  opposition to power shift to the South.

On its part, the Delta State Government said  it  aligned with the decision of Southern Governors’ Forum.

The state Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, who stated this in an interview on Monday in Asaba, said, “The Delta State Government has already aligned with the decision of southern governors, so it does not matter whether the northern governors are opposing it. We were there when the decision was taken and that is final as far  as Delta is concerned”

Northern govs exercising their right of free speech – Akeredolu’s aide

When contacted, his Ondo State counterpart,  Mr Donald Ojogo, said, “They (northern governors) have expressed and indeed exercised their rights under the freedom of expression. No one can stop them from expressing themselves.”

Northern govs working towards Nigeria’s break-up – Ohanaeze

But the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization,  Ohanaeze Ndigbo, described the position of the northern governors as unfortunate.

It  said the North  benefited from the Nigerian union more than it contributed to it.

Spokesman  for  the Igbo apex body, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, who spoke to one of our correspondents on the telephone, warned the northern leaders to have a rethink if they wanted the Nigerian union to continue.

Ogbonnia said, “If there is any group of people that benefits from the corporate existence of Nigeria, it is the North. This is because what northerners bring to the table is far  less than what they take from the table. So instead of looking for a way for Nigeria to remain united, develop and grow, they are looking at the way Nigeria will break up. It is simply inconceivable that the North that benefits the most from this country would like the country to break up.

“I have often said that if they are talking of constitutionality, as a matter of fact there is no place it is written in the constitution, but there is a gentleman agreement about power rotation between the north and south.

“The resolution was reached at the NUC (National Universities Commission) Event Centre at Abuja, and that was when Abdulsalami Abubakar was the Head of State and Commander in-Chief. It was agreed that power would shift from North to the South and that was why all the parties concentrated on  the South and it was zoned to the South-West in 1999.

“After Obasanjo it went to  Yar’Adua from North, to Jonathan from South and returned to North, Buhari. So now after Buhari,  it is supposed to come down South. That is gentleman agreement. It is unconscionable for the North to begin to talk about the power remaining in the North now.

“So it is unfortunate that they will be trying to go contrary to the views expressed and demand by the southern governors. As far as I am concerned, the position of the Southern Governors is the Ohanaeze’s stand. Ohanaeze stands with the southern governors that power should come down to the South.”

Ogbonnia, however stated, “I don’t want to believe that the northerners are happy with what is happening in the country today.  Only a person who is happy with what is happening will be talking about efforts that will bring about crisis and disunity. What is happening in Nigeria today is a result of injustice and inequity. Instead of trying to ameliorate the situation and bring about the desired the change based on equity, fair play and somebody will be very busy orchestrating more injustice.”

Northern govs’ opposition, ridiculous, cowardly, irresponsible – PANDEF

PANDEF described northern governors’ opposition for power shift to the South as most ridiculous, cowardly and irresponsible.

The National Publicity Secretary of the group, Ken Robinson stated this during a telephone chat with one of  our correspondents on Monday.

Robinson said the attitude of the northern governors to the southern Presidency when they enjoyed massive support from the South for the President Muhammadu Buhari to come to power was insensitive.

He stated, “The decision of the northern governors is most ridiculous and insensitive. It exposes them as hypocrites and cowards. That is what they are and they should be told clearly. Their decision is ridiculous.

“There is no sane person, nobody in his sane mind that should say power should not rotate after eight years of a northern presidency.

“Anybody, no matter how highly or lowly placed that says that there should be no power rotation in 2023 does not love Nigeria. He is one of those that does not want Nigeria to progress and to be united and does not want peace in Nigeria.

“Let it be known to the Northern governors and indeed the Northern community that there can be no peace without justice, and saying that there should be no power rotation is an act of injustice against southern Nigeria.

“Buhari was supported by southern Nigeria to become President. Our money was used to sponsor him and we can name the states where our money was used to sponsor Buhari to become President.

“After using our money and our votes to become President, they are saying that power will not shift. It is unfortunate, it is ridiculous and it is the most unreasonable, irresponsible statement from any group that exists in Nigeria,” the PANDEF spokesman added.

Northern governors paying lip service to Nigeria’s unity – Afenifere

The National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Jare Ajayi, said equity and fairness demand that Presidency should come to the South in 2023.

Speaking in an interview with one of our correspondents on Monday, the group’s spokesman expressed surprise at the position of the governors, saying some northern governors had said before that power should come to the South in 2023

The Afenifere spokesman said, “ This new position by the  governors indicated that the issue of forging unity in country is only on their lips and not in their hearts. It is true that zoning is not in the 1999 constitution. So are many other things that are done politically in form of convention.

“For example, it is not in the constitution that in a state with adherents of Muslims and Christians, the governor and his or her deputy should ideally be Christian and Muslim or vis-versa. It is also a matter of convention that two occupants of the said offices should not come from the same local government or senatorial zone.

“These are conventions and not necessarily constitutional matter. Such a convention is entrenched to forge unity and a sense of belonging.

Thus, while we, as Afenifere, concede that a presidential material can come from any part of the country, equity, fairness and justice demand that the next occupant of the exalted office must come from the South since the North would have occupied that office for unbroken eight years by 2023.

“As for a president needing at least 25 per cent of the votes cast in two thirds of the 36 states of the federation, the southern governors never said that the south can win the presidency without votes from the north. They are simply saying that their northern brethren should see the need to let presidential power shift to the South in 2023.”

The Afenifere spokesman asserted that restructuring should take place before the 2023 elections. “If this happens, most of what is causing brouhaha now would be a thing of the past.”        

Share This