2023 Presidency: Any party with northern candidate will lose – Akeredolu

Ondo State Governor and Chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), on Tuesday, warned that any political party that fields a northern candidate in the 2023 presidential election will lose.

 

Akeredolu said the 17 governors in the Southern part of the country under the auspices of the Southern Governors’ Forum are determined to ensure that the next President comes from the south.

 

The governor spoke in his office during a courtesy visit by members of a group, Power Rotation Movement, led by the Chairman, Pogu Bitrus, who also doubles as the Chairman, Middle Belt Forum.

 

Akeredolu, who said those pushing against the power rotation in the country are tinkering with the existence of Nigeria, added that he believes in one fair and equitable Nigeria.



“In about two or three meetings, we have come out and declared that power must move to the south,” the governor was quoted as saying in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde.

 

He added, “Only a party that is determined to lose will field a northern candidate. You are now a movement of members of political parties coming together. What we stand for is fair and equitable power rotation. The only thing fair is that after 8 years in the north, it should come to the south.

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“Some of us believe in One Nigeria that’s fair and equitable. We have a reason for it and it can be defended. Some people have argued that the Presidency should be based on competence. Are they saying there are no competent ones in the south?

 

“My brother Governors from the south, all of us are determined. Whosoever we pick, for as long as it is south, we will support him. We are saying the President must come from the south. There are people who merit it in the South-South, South- East, and the South-West.

 

“I also support your approach. If you are able to mobilize the youth and do not allow the election to be rigged, then we will win. You should also get our women to support us.”

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Northern politicians who have shown interest in getting the party’s 2023 presidential ticket include former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; former Senate President, Bukola Saraki; Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal; Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed; and ex-governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso. While some of them had yet to officially declare their presidential bid, there are strong indications they are eyeing the exalted seat in Aso Villa.

 

Aside from northern politicians, some southern stalwarts including former Senate President and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Pius Anyim; former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose; ex-governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi; media personality, Dele Momodu, amongst others have also expressed interest in clinching the party’s 2023 presidential ticket in the primary which is expected to hold later this year.

 

Other presidential hopefuls include All Progressives Congress leader, Bola Tinubu; Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi; ex-Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha; former Governor of Abia State and Majority Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Kalu; former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Kingsley Moghalu, among others. Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has also been rumoured to nurse an ambition to succeed his boss through the 2023 election but the professor of law has not officially made his intention known.



While politicians are engrossed in the zoning debate, the concerns of millions of Nigerians are about the emergence of a President who would stabilise the economy, force down inflation through sagacious fiscal policies, provide conducive operating environment for businesses to thrive, boost food production, secure lives and property, provide good infrastructure, quality education and affordable healthcare services.

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