- The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYFC) has advised the Ohanaeze group to allow the democratic process to play out in electing President Buhari's successor in 2023
- AYCF gave this advice on Monday, July 12, while reacting to the comment made by Ohanaeze Ndigbo on Governor Yahaya Bello
- Bello, who is believed to be eyeing the presidency in 2023, had said that rotational presidency is not written in the Nigerian constitution
The group, in a statement issued on Monday, July 12, and seen by Legit.ng, noted that zoning of presidency cannot be found anywhere in the Nigerian constitution.
Responding to the rejection of the position of Governor Yahaya Bello on the rotational presidency by Ohaneaze, the AYFC described the group's outburst as needless.
The AYCF, through its national chairman, Yerima Shettima, urged the nation's stakeholders to stick to the "merit" of any presidential candidate as against his ethnic-regional or religious leanings.
It said that both the northern leaders and youths of the region have come a long way, adding that they cannot be intimidated by anyone or stampeded into sheepishly supporting a regional candidate for the nation's 2023 presidency.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo has goofed
The group described as laughable the claim by Ohanaeze that Governor Bello was still a student when Nigerians like the late Dr. Abubakar Rimi, Solomon Lar and others advised that power rotation should be adopted.
"Is it not a shame that Ohaneaze is canvassing for a mere 23-year old advice not backed by any law known to part politics while questioning the young governor's legitimate advice for the full democratic process of the majority having their way.
"Ohanaeze's argument that former President Goodluck Jonathan also enjoyed the presidency due to the rotation principle, the AYCF said that was not enough reason because it was not even the turn of Jonathan's south-south region to produce president at that point in time."
On Ohaneaze's emphasis that "morality" is ahead of constitutionality, the AYCF said the Ndigbo group has goofed, saying nowhere in a democratic system does moral consideration supersede the constitution.
The north cannot be intimidated ever again
AYCF also reacted to Ohanaeze's claim that the recent meeting of the Southern Governors Forum endorsed power rotation to the south in 2023, saying that does not give Ohanaeze the licence to ignore simple democratic processes.
The AYCF said:
"We, in the AYFC wish to remind Ohanaeze that the north cannot be intimidated ever again, because we're now more politically conscious of our democratic rights and freedom and fully prepared to legitimately assert ourselves.
"As for those threatening that they would pull out of Nigeria if the next President did not come from the south it's nonsensical because they don't need to advertise that they're leaving when there are provisions of the constitution that gives them simple, legal means of breaking away. These empty threats won't force the North to abandon democratic means of producing Nigerian leaders.
"And we dare any political party in this country to try zoning the 2023 presidency to any ethnic group or region, or try to abandon the democratic process of producing elected leaders for the Nigerian democratic space."
Ohanaeze blasts Yayaha Bello over comments on rotational government
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported Ohanaeze Ndigbo expressed its displeasure over Governor Bello on his rotational presidency comment.
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It was reported that the group in a statement signed by its national publicity secretary, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, lambasted the governor, claiming that he got to his position as a result of providence in 2015 at an impressionable age of 40.
Ohanaeze consequently advised the Kogi state governor to support the resolution by his southern colleagues because this would serve his interest more being a young person.