2023: Power must return to South – Ohanaeze slams Northern elders

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The Igbo premier socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has maintained that the presidency must return to the country’s southern region ahead of the 2023 presidential election.

The Northern Elders Forum, NEF, is opposed to zoning the presidency, according to Ohanaeze, because it was the Southeast’s turn to produce Nigeria’s President.

The body was reacting to the NEF’s stance on presidential zoning.

The NEF has expressed its displeasure with the zoning of the 2023 Presidency.

In a statement headlined “The zoning shenanigans in Nigeria,” issued by its spokesman, Dr Alex Ogbonnia, Ohanaeze stated NEF was attempting to destroy what balances Nigeria rather than seeking answers to the country’s issues.

The body recounted how authority was passed from previous President Olusegun Obasanjo (Southwest) to Musa Yar’Adua (North), Goodluck Jonathan (Southsouth), and now to President Muhammadu Buhari (North).

According to Ohanaeze, the idea of power rotation was conceptualized in 1994 by certain Nigerian nationalists in order to promote equality and inclusivity of all sections of the country.

“It was also agreed that political offices will be zoned or distributed among the zones in such a way that every zone will have a sense of belonging. Furthermore, the Presidency in Nigeria will rotate among the zones to promote peace, unity and progress.

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“The NEF is aware that Nigeria has religiously followed the rotation and zoning principle since 1999 with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (South West) as the elected President of Nigeria. Obasanjo, in keeping with the rotation principle, handed over to former President Umaru Yar’Adua ( North West) in 2007.

“With the death of Yar’Adua, a Southerner, specifically the South-South, in the person of Dr Goodluck Jonathan was elected as President. Jonathan also handed over to a Northerner, President Muhammadu Buhari, whose second tenure of four years will end in 2023. By the rotation and zoning principle that has been in operation in Nigeria, it is only fair that the Presidency be zoned to the South, specifically the South-East region,” he said.