- The call for a southern president ahead of the 2023 general election has continued to take the centre stage of politics in Nigeria
- The call was made by leaders from the southern and middle belt region of Nigeria under the auspices of Southern Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF)
- SMBLF urged all Nigerians to ensure they reject any political party that flags presidential candidates from other regions but the south
Nigerians especially those from the southern and middle belt region of the country have been urged to ensure that they reject presidential candidates from other parts of the country.
The call was made by the leadership of the Southern Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) on Thursday, March 10.
Daily Trust reports that this was a resolution from its meeting that had delegations from constituent organisations of the SMBLF led by Ayo Adebanjo, leader of Afenifere (southwest); Pogu Bitrus, President of the Middle Belt Forum (Middle Belt); George Obiozor, president-general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo represented by the secretary-general, Okey Emuchay, (southeast); and Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, national chairman of Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF (south-south) represented.
The leaders said the call for the 2023 presidency to be zoned to the south should not be taken lightly.
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In its communique released at the end of the meeting, the forum declared its total support for a unified Nigeria anchored on the tenets of equity, fairness, justice and principles of true federalism.
It further urged the people to reject any political party that fails to flag a candidate from the south.
Reject political parties that fail to field southern candidates
Further calling on political stakeholders from the region to avoid any comprise, the forum said the worsening security situation in the country needs urgent attention.
The forum also condemned in the strongest terms, the ongoing massacres and decimation of indigenous populations, especially in Zuru, Kebbi state, southern Kaduna, Benue, Plateau and southern Gombe.
In the same vein, it called for the establishment of state police across the different states of the country.
Ohanaeze warns APC against dangers of denying Igbos 2023 presidency
Ohanaeze said plans to zone the presidency to the southwest would compromise Nigeria's unity and stability.
The group warned that any scheme by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to sideline Igbo candidacy at the primaries would amount to chaos.
The leadership of Ohanaeze said it reached out to the ruling party stating that the group strongly frowns at zoning the presidency to the southwest.
2023: Ohanaeze Ndigbo reacts to Tinubu's presidential ambition
However, the group frowns at his ambition insisting that it was the turn of the Igbos to become president.
Describing Tinubu as a man of conscience, the spokesperson for the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Alex Ogbonnia, said the APC national leader should also be interested in justice and equity.