Leaders of thought under the auspices of the Southern and Middle Belt Alliance (SAMBA) have criticized the Northern Governors Forum’s statement on power rotation, declaring that it is capable of fueling secessionist agitations in the country.
The warning was issued by the group in a statement signed by its spokesman, Rawang Pam.
SAMBA pointed out that, while there is no express provision in the Constitution for zoning, Section 14(3) explicitly provides for the distribution of offices in the country’s government composition.
As a result, it condemned any attempt by any region to dominate other regions.
According to the statement, “SAMBA thus warned the Northern Governors Forum that any further attempt by the northern region to retain power in 2023 will defeat the purpose of a united Nigeria where every man and region’s right to rule is equal and will endanger the country’s already fragile unity.”
“The recent statement attributed to the Northern Governors Forum that the power shift is unconstitutional is an attempt to turn history on its head and may fuel separatist agitation in the country.
“The section of the Constitution referred to by the northern governors only refers to the requirements for someone to be declared as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but the relevant constitutional provision for power rotation is section 14(3), which explicitly provides for the spread of political offices in the country to prevent one ethnic group or region from dominating the oath of office.
“Section 14(3) states that the composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies, as well as the conduct of its affairs, shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, as well as to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few States or from a few ethnic or other ethnic groups.
Southern governors’ insistence on a 2023 presidency is a sign of weakness, according to Tafawa Balewa’s son.
Northern governors’ opposition to a power shift in 2023 is fueled by rage.
“As a result, it is contrary to the letter and spirit of the Constitution, as well as a danger to the unity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for the core North to have served eight years in office and be contemplating another eight years.
“Nigerians are aware that after former President Olusegun Obasanjo finished his eight-year term in 2007, the South unanimously agreed that Northern Nigeria would produce the President. The South did not cry unconstitutional zoning in 2007, and President Obasanjo duly handed over power to a northerner, the late former President Umaru Yar’Adua.
“It is also widely known that former President Goodluck Jonathan lost the 2015 Presidential election to President Muhammadu Buhari in part due to global sentiment that it was the turn of the North to produce the President, despite the fact that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan had only served one term as elected president.
“As a result, it is not in the interests of the country for the North to retain power in 2023; doing so will be detrimental to the country’s already fragile unity and is more likely to lead to an increase in separatist movements across the country.
“The Middle Belt region’s position is categorically clear: it agrees with the rest of Nigerians that the South should produce the president in 2023.”
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“As a result, we unequivocally advise the Northern Governors Forum to abandon the idea of retaining power in 2023, and the same goes for the various political parties (APC, PDP, or any other party) to abandon the idea of zoning the Presidency to the North.
“We also advise the governors of the 15 states where Middle Belt ethnic nationalities predominate that any governor from the Middle Belt who supports the notion that power should remain in the Northern region is not reflecting the views of their people.
In the spirit of fairness, moral justice, national peace, and equity, SAMBA joins the majority of Nigerians in declaring, “Power must shift to the South!”