With major political parties still undecided on the zoning formula for the 2023 presidency, a group under the auspices of Concerned Nigeria Citizens has insisted that parties should zone their presidential slots to the South for the sake of justice and fairness.
The group argued that since the North has had its fair share of the country’s leadership for the past seven years, it’s only fair to zone the Presidency to the Southern part of the country for the next political dispensation.
While finalising plans to stage a mass rally on Wednesday in Abuja, to drive home their position, the group noted that since the return to civil rule in 1999, there has been an unwritten conventional way for power rotation between the North and South, adding that it is worrisome how most political parties are playing down the zoning arrangement with a sentiment of selfishness.
Addressing a press conference, at the Secretariat of the Nigerian Union of Journalists NUJ, FCT on Tuesday, the Convener, Femi Osabinu, said the voting pattern of Nigerians may largely tilt towards where political parties zone their presidential candidates in the forthcoming general elections.
Osabinu said, “we have watched with keen interest various agitations across the zones of our federating units, positions of our renowned ethnic nationalities on the need to zone the Presidency to Southern part of the country come 2023.
“We have also noticed how unstable and highly political most of our political parties are responding to the call for power rotation, this has made us come together to lend our voice to the voice of reasoning, the voice of unified Nigeria and greater Nigeria by urging all concerned political parties to zone Presidency to the South.
“There is no superior argument for this at times like this in the anal of our history because there is no doubt that the North has had its fair share of the country leadership for the past seven years and now it is time to zone the Presidency to the Southern part of Nigeria at this point of our history as a nation.
“Since the return to civil rule in 1999, there has been an unwritten conventional way for power rotation between the North and South. It baffles us that as the debate intensifies and party national conventions draw nearer, most political parties are planning to play down the zoning arrangement with selfish excuses of population spread across the country.
“Political gladiators across the divide have taken up arms and fight via exchange of words on power rotation. Some want it to remain in the North, while others want it back to the South for equality’s sake.
“Presidential election in Nigeria is highly influential and powerful as we all confer the greatest sense of belonging to the federation on any ethnic or geopolitical zone that produces the President. This no doubt has deepened the agitation for power shift by various regions and we thus resolve to implore all major political parties to have a deep think ahead of their national conventions to ensure that power rotates to the south as this will ensure that the country remains united and sense of belonging is given to all by zoning the Presidential tickets to the Southern Part of the Country come 2023.
”While we know power is not given on a platter of gold, we will deploy our structures across the country and within the various parties to further project the call and agitation to save the soul of the country. The northern region has been in power since 2015 and after exhausting the constitutional eight years by 2023, it is expected that power will rotate to the South. This is lawful and can guarantee peace and unity of the country not the contrary”.
Speaking further, the Convener of the Group said there won’t be either APC, PDP or any other political party if there is no country called Nigeria, stressing that national interest must override the personal interests of those pushing parties to jettison the conventional rotation agenda of Presidency.
“We urge all political parties to follow what will retain the unity of the country and zone the presidency to southern states come 2023. Parties should stop playing politics with Nigerians,” he appealed in his address.
2023 Polls: Group mounts pressure on political parties to zone presidency to south