A coalition of groups from the 19 northern states and Abuja, have advocated for a Southern President in 2023.
This was contrary to claims by the Prof. Ango Abdullahi-led Northern Elders’ Forum that the region should retain the Presidency in 2023.
The former vice-chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, had said at a book launch in December 2019 that the rotation of the Presidency between the North and the South was the making of political parties to win elections.
He had said that the arrangement was encouraged by the Peoples Democratic Party which later jettisoned it under the ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
Abdullahi had said, “Go and check the constitution. There is no place it is written that the president of Nigeria will be rotated according to local governments, states or geopolitical zones.
“In fact, geopolitical zone does not exist in the constitution. Go and check,” he had said.
But on Wednesday, the coalition of youth groups, under the auspices of the Arewa Youth Assembly, urged their kinsmen to be magnanimous enough and give the southern part of the country, especially the South-South geopolitical zone, the chance to produce the Presidency in 2023.
They said in addition to shifting the 2023 presidency to the South-South, they were ready to support a youthful president within the age bracket of between 40 and 50 years.
The group declared that it was time to say no to recycled politicians in 2023, especially from the region.
The leader of the coalition, Mohammed Danlami, who addressed the press conference held at the Arewa House, Kaduna, said it would be unfair for the North not to relinquish political power to the South in 2023.
He noted that the position being taken by the youth at the moment might be hard as northerners but it was aimed at moving the nation forward.
The AYA leader said, “Arewa Youth Assembly has noticed a series of misleading comments being orchestrated by some political buccaneers over leadership factor that North should retain the national leadership come 2023.
“It is grossly unfair, malicious and wicked for all those fuelling or promoting this project. We say No!
“The North has occupied the leadership position of the country since independence, more than any other region.
“It is time for the South-South youths to produce the next president in 2023 to complete their eight years of leadership.
“We seek to redefine the role and leadership development process of the country.
“We are charting a new path to national rebirth to put an end to the issues of recycling old politician for leadership.
“Nigerian is a nation standing half in the light of progress and promise, and half in darkness of injustice.
“We live in a period of grave uncertainty. As things now stand, we have no idea where the nation would be heading to if the North retains power in 2023.
“The greatest challenge facing Nigeria today is that of leadership. Nigeria needs a leader that the people can identify with and who can inspire them to greater heights.
“We are calling for power shift to the South-South. We need leaders with vision and passion because sound and visionary political leadership is vital for Nigerian peaceful co-existence.
“With this timely intervention ahead of 2023, we are championing the course of youths within the age bracket of 40 to 50 years to lead Nigeria to the Promised Land.
“A vibrant youth who is detribalised; a youth who has vision enough to foresee the needs of the people and compassionate enough to match these needs with actions.”