2023 presidency: Power shift to South undemocratic, unconstitutional – Northern Groups

The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) says the zoning arrangement by political parties is unconstitutional and a plot to intimidate the North from contesting for the presidency in 2023.

On Monday, CNG’s spokesperson Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, said the group aligned with the position of the Northern Governors’ Forum, asking the political parties to jettison the idea of zoning the post to the southern region of Nigeria.

He said the north would not be obliged to any zoning arrangement for elective positions in the forthcoming general election.

“We find the renewed desperation by the South to threaten [the] northern people’s right to franchise a deliberate attempt to bastardise democracy, cause greater instability in the guise of contentious undemocratic power shift arrangement and therefore unacceptable,” he said.

“The CNG after due consultation with stakeholders, leaders and elders has categorically resolved to firmly and solidly align completely with the position taken by the Northern Elders Forum as expressed by Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed and that of the Northern Governors’ Forum that zoning of elective positions is unconstitutional, undemocratic and must be jettisoned.”

Suleiman further explained that the northern region is a major stakeholder in Nigeria, especially with respect to elections.

This comes as governors of the 19 Northern states rejected the position of their Southern colleagues that the 2023 presidency should be zoned to the Southern part of the country, arguing that the presidency is a democratic office and not a rotational position.

SaharaReporters had reported that during an emergency meeting with Northern traditional rulers at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna, some weeks ago, the NGF said the region could not be compelled to give up a democratically elected office that could be sought by any person irrespective of where he comes from.

The forum added that though some Northern governors had earlier expressed views for a power-shift to three geo-political zones in the South, with a view to promoting unity and peace in the nation, “the statement by the Southern Governors Forum that the Presidency must go to the South is unacceptable.”