Disturbed by strident opposition to power shift in 2023, the Middle Belt Forum (MBF) has called on the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) to give fairness, equity and natural justice a chance by allowing a president of southern extraction to take over from President Muhammadu Buhari in May 2023.
National President of the Forum, Dr Pogu Bitrus in a press statement he personally signed, Monday, and made available to Blueprint, said the communiqué issued at the end of a meeting convened by the Northern Elders’ Forum under the auspices of Northern Leaders of Thought (NLT) over opposition to power rotation to the South in 2023 is disturbing and unpatriotic.
According to the Forum, “Considering the circumstances under which the group met and membership of those who attended the meeting on January 15, 2022 at the Arewa House in Kaduna, it is clear that there are subterranean forces aimed at frustrating the power shift arrangement to the South in 2023.”
The statement explained that by May 2023, President Muhammadu Buhari, a northerner, should have completed two tenures of four years each as provided for in the Nigerian Constitution, and “to insist that another northerner should continue in power beyond May 2023 amounts to violating the arrangement on power shift that has become the norm since the return of democracy in May 1999.”
“We recall that after our consultative meeting that took place in September 2021 in Akwanga, Nasarawa State, the Forum did not only express its resounding support for power rotation to the South, the MBF also noted that for fairness to hold sway, it was irretrievably necessary for power to return to the South in 2023.
“Our position was hinged on the fact that the power rotation has tremendously assisted in mitigating political tension by creating a platform for power-sharing in the country. As we have always declared in the past, the MBF wishes to restate once again that any threat against power shift to the South in 2023 is akin to courting frightening dangers to the unity and progress of Nigeria.
“We stand for justice and freedom for all. The MBF is completely against the NLT’s opposition to power shift in 2023. Those who met in Kaduna at the weekend must halt further attempts to create political turmoil for our nation,” MBF stressed.
The Forum called on political parties to disregard what it called “the chicanery of these leaders of the so-called North and their opposition to zoning in 2023. Those who gathered in Kaduna last weekend were political jobbers engaged in carrying the commands of their masters that are lurking in the shadows.”