Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has called on Northerners to wait until 2031 before thinking of producing another president for the country.
Recall that several Northern groups and prominent leaders, especially from the North Central zone of the country have been clamouring to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
PANDEF, in a statement issued in Port Harcourt yesterday by its national publicity secretary, Ken Robinson, said the call was in the interest of national harmony and peace.
The statement reads in part: “The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) is advising and cautioning politicians from the North, seeking to run for the presidency, to wait till 2031, for the sake of national harmony and peace.
“Everyone has the right to take part in the governance of his/her country; to vote and be voted for. But, it’s equally fundamental to uphold the indispensable principles of fairness, equity, and justice. Noting that without these, there can be no overall peace and progress.
“PANDEF avers that it should be, therefore, unthinkable that the North should contemplate clutching onto the presidential seat, in 2023, at the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s two tenures of eight years. Nature abhors injustice; the sun does not rise in the east and set in the east.
“We consider declarations, by some individuals and groups, now, suddenly opposing the extant practice of rotational zoning of Political Offices, particularly that of the Presidency, as unpatriotic and self-serving.
“Given the multi-faceted heterogeneity of our country, Nigerians should be critically concerned, not only about the credibility and competence of those aspiring to occupy the highest office, but also, where they come.
“We must conscientiously ensure that zoning, especially for the Office of President and Governors, is very well maintained. Besides, PANDEF firmly affirms that no zone of the country is in want of men and women of noble character, acumen, competence, and integrity, to lead Nigeria at this crucial time.”
It said throwing the presidency open to all zones in 2023, amounts to moving the goalpost, in the 87th of a 90-minute game, implying that somebody from Daura, Katsina State, can, again, become President of Nigeria in 2023, within the present mood of the Country.
PANDEF said a big no to such an attempt to worsen the current bare threads of national cohesion, unity and all-around prosperity.
“The North would have completed the statutory eight years by 2023; it is, therefore, only reasonable and fair that power should rotate to the South, as has been the case for twenty-two years of the Third Republic! Whether the person would emerge from the South-South, South-East or South-West is a matter of different configurations entirely,” it said.