The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) on Thursday told politicians from the Northern part of the country eyeing the Presidency in 2023 to wait for another eight years in the national interest.
The PANDEF National Publicity Secretary, Ken Robinson, disclosed this in a statement in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
He said it is unthinkable that the North would contemplate retaining the presidency beyond 2023.
The quest for power shift has continued to dominate public discourse in Nigeria with just 18 months to the country’s next general elections.
President Muhammadu Buhari will complete his eight-year tenure in 2023.
Robinson said: “Everyone has the right to take part in the governance of his/her country; to vote and be voted for. But it is equally fundamental to uphold the indispensable principles of fairness, equity, and justice. 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.
“To say, suddenly, only in 2021, that the presidency should be 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.
“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.
“Northerners who hunger to become President should wait till 2031.
“Political stakeholders need to demonstrate pristine, honourable, and patriotic etiquette of civility to whittle down the thick tensions, arising from the all-around dissensions and alleviate the pain, suffering, and unpleasant conditions that the vast majority of citizens are facing.
“Reckless political machinations, to arrogate power to one part of the Country will only worsen the ensuing debilitating state of affairs.”
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