In preparation towards the 2023 Presidential election, the Igbo apex socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has maintained that the Presidency must return to the Southern part of the country.
According to the group, the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, are against zoning of the Presidency because it was the turn of the Southeast to produce Nigeria’s President.
The statement is coming in reaction to the position of the NEF on the zoning of the Presidency.
It will be recalled that NEF recently frowned against the zoning of the 2023 Presidency.
Reacting, Ohanaeze in a statement titled: “The zoning shenanigans in Nigeria”, signed by its spokesman, Dr Alex Ogbonnia, said NEF was trying to destroy what balances Nigeria instead of seeking solutions to the country’s problems.
The Igbo body bdisclosed that the issue of rotation of power was initiated in 1994 by some Nigerians to ensure equity in the country.
“It was also agreed that political offices will be zoned or distributed among the zones in such a way that every zone will have a sense of belonging. Furthermore, the Presidency in Nigeria will rotate among the zones to promote peace, unity and progress.
“The NEF is aware that Nigeria has religiously followed the rotation and zoning principle since 1999 with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (South West) as the elected President of Nigeria. Obasanjo, in keeping with the rotation principle, handed over to former President Umaru Yar’Adua ( North West) in 2007.
“With the death of Yar’Adua, a Southerner, specifically the South-South, in the person of Dr Goodluck Jonathan was elected as President. Jonathan also handed over to a Northerner, President Muhammadu Buhari, whose second tenure of four years will end in 2023. By the rotation and zoning principle that has been in operation in Nigeria, it is only fair that the Presidency be zoned to the South, specifically the South-East region,” he said.
Some stakeholders have been clamouring that the Southeast should produce Nigeria’s next President in 2023.