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Forget our support if you don’t pick southern presidential candidates – Ohanaeze, Afenifere, PANDEF, Middle Belt

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The regional and ethnic pressure groups – Ohanaeze Nd’Igbo, Afenifere, the Middle Belt Forum and the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) have renewed their call for the presidency of Nigeria to be headed by a southern Nigerian in 2023.

The call further cautioned that any political party that didn’t pick a presidential candidate from the south of Nigeria should forget votes from the south.

In a meeting held at Abuja on Thursday, the groups headed by Chiefs EK Clarke, Ayo Adebanjo, Prof. George Obiozor and Dr. Pogu Bitrus who all signed their joint statement said the “extant Constitution and Structure of Nigeria are grossly flawed and lopsided, accordingly, we restate our demand for the fundamental restructuring of the country by enacting a new Constitution that would enthrone equity, fairness and justice.*It must be One Nation, One System*;

“That the northern part of the country would have fully enjoyed the Office of the Presidency of the country for the full statutory period of 8 years by 2023, hence, the presidency should rotate to the South;

Therefore, we unequivocally, and in full resolve, call on all political parties in the country to zone their presidential tickets to the South. We advice that any political party that does not zone its presidential ticket to the South should not expect support from the four regions.”

They also noted that “the basis of any viable democracy, especially in a diverse and complex country such as Nigeria, is fair and even sharing of power.”

Away from the 2023 power contest, the bodies “condemned the continued senseless killings of innocent citizens across the country by terrorists and criminals, especially in the North West Zone; calls on the government and security agencies to redouble efforts to safeguard the lives and property of Nigerians.”

It also cautions the National Assembly to only give consideration to Bills that would promote equity, justice, peace and national cohesion instead of issues that will exacerbate conflicts and crisis in the country.”

The groups finally “urged governors and members of the National Assembly of the four regions to commit themselves to the subject of restructuring, while also “affirming their commitment to the unity of Nigeria, situated on the tenets of Equity, Fairness, Justice, and the principle of federalism.” 

The meeting was attended by tens of elders and leaders from the four geopolitical zones.

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