Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has said that the northern region of the country may not support the agitation for the rotation of Nigeria’s presidency to the Southern region.
NEF’s spokesman, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, who spoke on Channels TV, said many northerners may be discouraged from voting for a Southerner as president with the manner governors and leaders of the region are going about their agitation.
He was reacting to the outcome of Monday’s Southern Governors Forum meeting held in Lagos and its endorsement of rotation.
During the meeting, the Southern Governors Forum agreed that the South should be allowed to produce the president of the country in 2023 general elections.
He alleged that the Southerners are making the demand in a “wrong manner” that may offend sensitive northerners.
The NEF spokesman reminded the Southern governors and lawmakers that votes and not agitations determine who becomes the president.
He also said the southerners would have to convince the northerners on what they stand to benefit if they shift power to the South.
He said, “You read in between the lines of their well-crafted communique that says that they want basically a southern presidency. It is not wrong. That means the North needs to yield the presidency to the southern part of the country. There is nothing wrong with that.
“The problem is the manner it is being pursued this time by people who were elected on the basis of the constitution, who understand that politics is about getting up and convincing people rather than just sitting down and say ‘we want this, we want that.’ That’s wrong.
“Two, they must know that the manner they are doing this, not what they are looking for, but the manner in which they are doing it is likely to cause more problem for them than solve the problems
“But the problem is to get the North to say, ‘Ok, show us why it is better. Show us why a southern presidency is the best for the North and the rest of Nigeria.’ This is a democratic country. Citizens vote. Nigerians, irrespective of where they are, will vote. Political parties have to do the hard work.”