Pan Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, and Ohanaeze Ndigbo have condemned the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) over its latest comment on the 2023 Presidency.
Naija News reports that the NEF had on Sunday insisted that power would remain in the north after 2023 and anyone who doesn’t want a northerner as president in 2023 can leave the country when it happens.
Speaking at an event in Kaduna state, NEF spokesperson, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, stated that northerners would not be treated as a second class as they have the population to decide who becomes president.
Reacting, Afenifere berated the NEF for asking Nigerians who do not want a northerner as president in 2023 to leave the country.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday, National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Jare Ajayi, said that the North alone cannot decide who becomes the President.
He explained that every part of the country should be free to field a candidate of their choice, but the presidency should go to the South in the interest of equity and fairness.
Ajayi said Nigeria needs to be restructured before talking about where to zone the presidency to in 2023.
On his part, the National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Alex Ogbonnia, slammed the NEF for claiming that power will remain in the north.
According to Ogbonnia, there was a gentleman’s agreement that power should be rotating between north and south in 1999.
He, however, advised the NEF to respect the agreement, adding that for justice, equity and fairness, power must rotate to the South in 2023.
He said: “There are two groups of Nigerians – those who want the country to remain as a corporate entity and for it to progress and grow on one hand, and those that don’t want the unity of this country but want it to retrogress.
“But in all of this, there is what we call conscience and that makes it imperative that people with good ideas will always be greater in number.
“That is the role of conscience in human beings because ultimately, those who are in favour of equity, justice and fairness will be more in number.
“So, those northern elders saying this (power will remain in the north) will definitely be in the minority because there was a gentleman’s agreement that power should be rotating between north and south.
“And it has been like that since 1999. So, for justice, equity and fairness, power must rotate to the South East in 2023. So, whatever happens, the truth will always prevail over falsehood.”