Politics

2023: Northern Governors tackle southern counterparts, says insistence on zoning presidency is unconstitutional

Governors from the northern region have opposed the claim from their southern counterparts that the next president should be from the south.

According to the northern governors’ forum, the claim is not in line with the dictates of the constitution. 

Ahead of the 2023 presidential elections, there has been pressure on the two leading political parties, All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) to present candidates from the southern part of the country to replace President Muhammadu Buhari over claims of marginalisation.

Southern governors have also been vocal about their stance, claiming a return of the presidency to the south will diminish lamentations that some parts of the country are marginalised. 

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But speaking after a Monday meeting in Kaduna, the Northern governors in a communique signed by Simon Lalong, governor of Plateau and chairman of the northern governors’ forum, condemned the position of their colleagues in the south. 

“The Forum observed that some Northern State Governors had earlier expressed views for a power-shift to three geopolitical zones in the South with a view to promoting unity and peace in the nation. Notwithstanding their comments, the Forum unanimously condemns the statement by the Southern Governors Forum that the Presidency must go to the South,” the communique reads.

“The statement is quite contradictory with the provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) as amended, that the elected President shall: score the majority votes; score at least 25% of the votes cast in 2/3 States of the Federation. In the case of run-up, simple majority wins the election.”

The northern governors further praised security agencies for the fight against insecurity in the northern region. 

They also called for increased cooperation between the Federal government and the States to see improved results in the fight against insurgency. 

“The Forum reviewed security updates from the Region and observed the need for sustained synergy and coordinated efforts between the Federal and Northern State Governments, while noting success of recent measures,” Lalong added.

“The Forum appreciated the ongoing onslaught against banditry, kidnapping and Boko Haram, especially in the North East and parts of North West and North Central States, and encouraged the Armed forces and other security agencies to sustain the tempo to enable the security challenges be permanently addressed in the shortest time.”

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