Ahead of the 2023 general elections, a group, Grassroot Alliance For Good Governance (GAFGG) has called on the two leading political parties in Nigeria, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to pick their presidential candidates from the South.
The group which said it is beating the drums of unification and togetherness to the hearing of all nation’s political parties also warned that it will deploy over 3 million of its members across the nation to demarket the interest of any political party who will not heeding to its request.
In a statement issued Tuesday in Abuja, titled ‘A clarion call to zone the 2023 presidency to the south’ the convener of the Grassroot Alliance For Good Governance (GAFGG), Hon. Kemdi Chino Opara said, “Our ethnic diversity is the strength we all share and enjoy and if the truth is told, that is why Nigeria is so great. Therefore all of our nation’s political parties should as a matter of the urgency of the moment to heal and keep our nation as one entity apply the above narrative as a good governance template to pick their presidential candidates from the South for the upcoming 2023 elections.
“We in the Grassroot Alliance For Good Governance (GAFGG) are beating the drums of unification and togetherness to the hearing of all our nation’s political parties using our members numbering over 3 million across the nation to demarket the interest of political parties who will opt for the alternative. Nigeria is better and stronger unified. The urgency of the moment is now. All the agitations and all divisive stances will come to a halt. Restructuring maybe will be the order of the day which in the spirit of good governance is sacrosanct.
“We call on all the political leaders to see the merits in ensuring that power shifts to southern Nigeria in 2023.
“It is clearly the only way to keep the nation together and any attempt to change this prevailing understanding by any political party will not be good for the political climate of our nation. We at the Grassroot Alliance For Good Governance humbly submit and therefore urge our political class to play the 2023 games with the understanding that Nigeria is greater than the ambition of any individual. We must work together and within good reason and conscience to ensure that Nigeria is great again.”
Dr. Opara noted the general debate over which of the sections of the nation will be producing the next president of Nigeria after President Muhammadu Buhari’s exit, he however said, “Ordinarily, this shouldn’t be a problem because since the inception of this present dispensation there has been an understanding that power rotates between the North and the South.
“For instance, in 1999 when the civilian dispensation commenced after years of military interregnum, the South through President Olusegun Obasanjo took charge of the helms. The next president, Umaru Musa Yar’adua from the North succeeded President Obasanjo.
“After the demise of President Yar’Adua, his deputy, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, from the South took over the leadership of the nation. President Jonathan was succeeded by the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari from the North. It is therefore incontestatable that the successor of President Buhari has to come from the South.
“The constitution requires that only political parties are empowered to nominate presidential candidates who can stand elections in Nigeria and at the present, only 18 political parties exist and are constitutionally empowered to nominate candidates to the exalted office of the president.
“However, from the point of strength of these political parties, it is understandable that only two of them, the All Progressives Congress, APC and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP have the capacity to produce the next occupant of the presidency.
“This is why we in the Grassroot Alliance For Good Governance (GAFGG) are recommending as well as requesting that the status quo of producing the president of this country should not be altered by any political party for whatsoever reason or reasons as the case maybe.
“The respect of this present arrangement by the political actors and their parties must be seen as a sacrifice by every Nigerian to ensure stability, trust amongst every segment of this nation and to generally enthrone peaceful coexistence amongst the people of this our great nation Nigeria.
“There is nothing that Nigerians need more today more than unification and preservation of the sanctity of our democracy and invariably this nationhood and it is our sincere belief that zoning the presidency to the South will bring about the much needed unification and as well create a sense of belonging to every section of this nation.
“It is a known fact that drums of dismemberment have been sounding loud across the nation. The South West people are agitating for Oduduwa nation, and the South-East have refused to perish the thought of a Biafra Republic. Some Nigerians in the North Central and parts of the North East do not believe that they belong to the North and are therefore demanding a new nation carved out from the Middle Belt. The South South region have continued to advance the need to achieve an oil rich nation where they can solely decide the affairs of their oil rich natural habitat.
“All these contestations have largely defined the existence of this nation and tend to put and promote unnecessary discord amongst the people, but the very little our nation’s political class can do is to ensure that we do not get divided more than we are presently.”