‘No support for any party with Northern candidate in 2023,’ Southern, Middle Belt leaders declare

The leaders of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum (SMBLF) on Thursday renewed their calls for the zoning of the presidency to the South in 2023.

The forum vowed that it would not support any party with a Northern candidate in next year’s presidential election.

The SMBLF also demanded a new constitution for the country ahead of the 2023 elections.

The forum stated these in a communiqué issued at the end of its meeting in Abuja and signed by the Leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Edwin Clark, his Afenifere counterpart, Ayo Adebanjo, the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, George Obiozor, and the National Leader of the Middle Belt Forum, Pogu Bitrus.

The communiqué read: “The meeting extensively discussed various issues on the state of affairs in the country, particularly, the security situation, restructuring, preparations for the 2023 elections and zoning.

“That the extant Constitution and Structure of Nigeria are grossly flawed and lopsided. Accordingly, Forum restates its demand for the fundamental restructuring of the country by enacting a new Constitution that would enthrone equity, fairness, and justice. It must be One Nation, One System.

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“Cites that the northern part of the country would have fully enjoyed the Office of the Presidency of the country for the full statutory period of eight years by 2023, hence, the presidency should rotate to the South. Therefore, unequivocally, and in full resolve, call on all political parties in the country to zone their presidential tickets to the south.

“Advices that any political party that does not zone its presidential ticket to the South should not expect support from the four regions.

“Notes that the basis of any viable democracy, especially in a diverse and complex country such as Nigeria, is fair and even sharing of power.”

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