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2023: We Won’t Support Any Party With Northern Presidential Candidate – Southern, Middle Belt Leaders 

Southern, Middle Belt Leaders 
THEWILL APP ADS 2

January 14, (THEWILL) – The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum (SMBLF) has asked political parties in the country to zone its presidential ticket to the south.

The Forum warned that any party that does not zone its ticket to the south should not expect support from the regions.

The demand was part of resolutions reached at a meeting, held on Thursday in Abuja.

In attendance at the meeting were delegations from the four regional socio-cultural organisations – Afenifere for the South West, Ohanaeze Ndigbo for the South East, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) for the South-South and the Middle Belt Forum (MBF) for the Middle Belt.

The delegations were led by Chief Ayo Adebanjo, leader of Afenifere, Professor George Obiozor, President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr. Pogu Bitrus, President of the Middle Belt Forum and Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, FNSE, National Chairman of Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF.

The meeting was also attended by former Governors, Ministers, federal and state legislators, top politicians and professionals from the Southern and Middle Belt regions, including His Excellency, Obong Victor Attah, former Governor of Akwa Ibom, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Alaowei Broderick Bozimo, Senator Femi Okurounmu, Nze Ozichukwu Chukwu, Simon N. Okeke, OFR, Chief Supo Shonibare, Dr. Akin Fapohunda, Amb. Okey Emuchay, MFR, Senator Bassey Ewa Henshaw, Prof. G. G. Darah, Solomon Asemota, SAN, Dr. Alex Ogbonna, Mr. Mac Emakpore, Chief Douyi Douglas-Naingba, Mrs. Nella Andem-Rabana, SAN, Prof. Mrs. Chinwe Obaji, Maj. Gen. Henry Ayoola (Rtd), Engr. Ben Akaakar, Dr. Ebun Sonaiya, Comrade Jare Ajayi and Ken Robinson, among others.

The Forum in a communique jointly signed by Edwin Clark, Ayo Adebanjo, George Obiozor, and Pogu Bitrus, resolved as follows:

“That the extant Constitution and Structure of Nigeria are grossly flawed and lopsided, accordingly, Forum restates its demand for the fundamental restructuring of the country by enacting a new Constitution that would enthrone equity, fairness and justice.*It must be One Nation, One System;

“Cites that the northern part of the country would have fully enjoyed the Office of the Presidency of the country for the full statutory period of 8 years by 2023, hence, the presidency should rotate to the South;

“THEREFORE, UNEQUIVOCALLY, AND IN FULL RESOLVE, CALL ON ALL POLITICAL PARTIES IN THE COUNTRY TO ZONE THEIR PRESIDENTIAL TICKETS TO THE SOUTH;

“Advises that any political party that does not zone its presidential ticket to the South should not expect support from the four regions;

“Notes that the basis of any viable democracy, especially in a diverse and complex country such as Nigeria, is fair and even sharing of power;

“Condemns the continued senseless killings of innocent citizens across the country by terrorists and criminals, especially in the North West Zone; calls on the government and security agencies to redouble efforts to safeguard the lives and property of Nigerians.”

The Forum also cautioned the National Assembly to only give consideration to Bills that would promote equity, justice, peace and national cohesion instead of issues that will exacerbate conflicts and crisis in the country.

It also urged Governors and members of the National Assembly of the four regions to commit themselves to the subject of Restructuring;

SMBLF however reaffirmed “commitment to the unity of Nigeria, situated on the tenets of Equity, Fairness, Justice, and the principle of federalism.”