- The conversations by politicians around the 2023 presidential election are getting heated by the day
- Recent demands by the Southern Governors Forum seems to have irked some politicians in northern Nigeria
- One of such politicians is Ambassador Yahaya Kwande, a former Nigerian ambassador to Switzerland
Jos - The deputy chairman of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Ambassador Yahaya Kwande has berated the Southern Governors Forum for its recent stance on the 2023 general elections.
Kwande, a former Nigerian ambassador to Switzerland, said the insistence of the forum that power returns back to the south in 2023 is capable of dividing the country.
He made the comment when he spoke to Arise TV via video conferencing on Tuesday, September 28.
He added that if it were not for the immunity enjoyed by the southern governors, the federal government should have deployed security agencies to grill them for wanting to break the country based on their comments.
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Kwande said rotation had never been a constitutional arrangement, but parties’ plan to win the election.
“I haven’t taken the position of southern governors lightly, because if not because they are untouchable group of people in Nigeria, I would have said the government should question them because it’s like mooting the idea of breaking this country.
“If all the political parties have decided to pick their candidates from the South or from the North, they have the democratic right to do so, but do not confuse the issue as if leaders are there to dictate where the president should come. The constitution has made it very clear
“What they are now doing is like dividing the country. That (rotation) is a question of the manifesto of a political party.”
Recall that the NEF on Tuesday commended northern governors for rejecting rotation of the 2023 presidency to the south as being clamoured by the Southern Governors Forum.
Punch newspaper reports that the spokesman of the NEF, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, described the demand by the southern governors as unacceptable, adding that they constituted a threat to the nation’s democracy with their demand.
North insists on retaining presidency in 2023
Earlier, Baba-Ahmed said heaven will not fall if a northerner is elected the next Nigerian president in 2023.
Maintaining that northerners are not second-class citizens, he said the north will not accept to serve as a second fiddle in 2023 when the region has the population to go to clinch the first position.
He made the comment while delivering a keynote address at an event in Zaria, Kaduna state, recently.
Northern ruling class accused of trying to foist Jonathan on Nigerians
In a related development, an unnamed APC chieftain has claimed that the northern oligarchy wants ex-President Goodluck Jonathan to replace President Buhari in 2023 because the Bayelsa-born politician can only serve four years in power if he returns.
Jonathan, 63, held sway as Nigeria's leader from 2010 to 2015 under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after his then-boss, Umaru Musa Yar'Adua died in office.
The APC chieftain said:
“They have perfected arrangements to ensure that one of them becomes Jonathan’s vice preparatory to taking over from him if he finishes his remaining term.”