Southern and central belt leaders warn APC and PDP against fielding presidential candidates from the north in 2023

The leaders of the Southern and Middle Belt Forum (SMBLF) insisted on Friday on a transfer of power to the south of the country in 2023.

In a statement released after their meeting in Abuja, the leaders urged Nigerians to vote for southern presidential candidates and not their northern counterparts next year.

The statement was signed by former Federal Information Commissioner Edwin Clark, Head of Yoruba Socio-Political Organization, Afenifere, Ayo Adebanjo, Pogu Bitrus of Middle Belt, General Chairman of Socio-Political Organization, Igbo politician, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, George Obiozor and Emmanuel Essien of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF).

The group also warned the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against dumping the zoning idea by fielding candidates from the north in 2023.

They therefore warned that the permutations signaled by the main political parties to impose presidential candidates from the North on the nation would be a serious mishap with serious consequences for national concord and harmony.

The PDP had abandoned the principle of zoning last week and decided to open the presidential race of 2023 to politicians from all geopolitical zones of the country.

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The statement read: “We therefore call on all delegates of all political parties, and true lovers of democracy, as a sacred obligation, to reject presidential aspirants, or candidates, from the North, and vote only for those of the South in the party primaries.

“The Forum strongly reiterates its position on the principle of zoning and rotation of power between North and South, as the basis on which the Nigerian Federation has, since independence, been founded.

“He states, unequivocally, that the zoning and rotation of the presidency of Nigeria is fundamental to the future existence of the country.

“It also condemns, in the strongest terms, the obvious ploys by the two main political parties, the PDP and the APC, ahead of their presidential primaries, to abandon the age-old principle of rotation, which has traditionally served as the cement of the Federal Republic of Nigeria together.

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