Power must come to South in 2023 – Afenifere

Yoruba socio-political organisation Afenifere has reacted to the resolution by the Northern Governors’ Forum on Monday that there is no provision in the constitution that states that power must be rotated between the North and South.

The governors had held their meeting in response to their Southern counterparts who recently held a meeting in Enugu and resolved, among other things, that power must come to the South in 2023.

But the Northern governors criticised their Southern counterparts at their meeting on Monday, saying there was no such arrangement in the constitution.

However, in reaction, Afenifere said equity and fairness demanded that Presidency should come to the South in 2023.

The National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Jare Ajayi, while speaking with journalists on Monday, expressed surprise at the position of the Northern governors, adding that some Northern governors held similar views with the Southern governors.

He said, “This new position by the governors indicated that the issue of forging unity in the country is only on their lips and not in their hearts. It is true that zoning is not in the 1999 Constitution. So are many other things that are done politically in the form of conventions.

“For example, it is not in the constitution that in a state with adherents of Muslims and Christians, the governor and his or her deputy should ideally be Christian and Muslim or vice versa. It is also a matter of convention that two occupants of the said offices should not come from the same local government area or senatorial zone.

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“These are conventions and not necessarily constitutional matters. Such conventions are entrenched to forge unity and a sense of belonging. Thus, while we, as Afenifere, concede that presidential material can come from any part of the country, equity, fairness and justice demand that the next occupant of the exalted office must come from the South since the North would have occupied that office for unbroken eight years by 2023.

“It is by so doing that unity and sense of belonging the country needs would be fostered.”

Ajayi noted that had whoever is President governs fairly and justly, it would not have mattered where they come from.

“The issue of where the President comes from is on the front burner today because of the nepotistic tendencies by those who have been ruling us. This was taken to the highest level by the incumbent President [Muhammadu] Buhari,” he stated.

The Afenifere spokesman noted that there should be restructuring before the 2023 elections, adding that if that happened, most of what was causing “brouhaha” now would be a thing of the past.

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