- As the 2023 presidential race gathers momentum, more groups are identifying with their preferred candidate for the election
- The Northern Professionals Forum has declared its support for Delta state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa
- The group said Governor Okowa's achievements in Delta state will benefit Nigeria if replicated at the national level
The forum in a statement sent to Legit.ng on Thursday, February 10 said they have taken cognisance of the Delta governor's track record of infrastructural and socio-economic development of his state, adding that he can replicate same at the national level.
The body which is comprised of professionals from diverse fields noted that governance cannot be left in hands of those who least understand what infrastructural, human capital, and socio-economic development was all about in the guise of politics.
The statement which was signed by the group's national coordinator, Dr. Saleh Mohammed, and secretary, Hajia Hannatu Garba, pointed out that it further serve the interest of Nigerians if the visionary leadership of Okowa was brought to bear on the presidency.
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They described Senator Okowa as highly urbane for protecting non-indigenes in Delta state for the past seven years, a situation, the group posited has given the governor deep and genuine contacts across the north and other regions of the country.
Part of the statement read:
“As professionals, we haven't lost touch with Senator Ifeanyi Okowa's track record of huge infrastructural development as governor of Delta state in the last seven years.
“We see 2023 general election as an opportunity for him to contest presidency notwithstanding those who have indicated interest for the plum job.
“Okowa's blend of professional and political ideas would be a nexus for the unity of the nation and given his humane nature who is capitally detribalized in handling the state affairs, it is incumbent on us as a northern-based group to call on him to contest.”
PDP warned against fielding northern presidential candidate in 2023
In a related development, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been warned against fielding a presidential candidate from northern Nigeria in 2023.
A political advocacy group, Reset Nigeria, made the call in a statement issued on Monday, January 14, and sent to Legit.ng.
The group said the PDP risks mass exodus of members and extinction if it fails to field a presidential candidate from southern Nigeria in line with the idea of a rotational presidency between the north and the south.
2023: Akeredolu warns political parties against fielding northern candidates
Similarly, chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum and Ondo state governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, on Tuesday, February 8 warned that any political party that fields a northern candidate in the 2023 presidential election will lose.
Governor Akeredolu disclosed that 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 made the comment when he received members of a group, Power Rotation Movement, led by the chairman, Dr. Pogu Bitrus, who also doubles as the chairman, Middle Belt Forum.