The apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has lampooned the Northern Governors for rejecting the idea of zoning the 2023 presidency to the South.
Recall that the governors, under the auspices of the Northern States Governors’ Forum, condemned zoning as earlier adopted by their southern counterparts, arguing that position is not a constitutional issue.
In their position made known in a communique after their meeting on Monday, the governors said that the statement by the Southern Governors on zoning is quite contradictory with the provision of the Constitution.
In an interview with The PUNCH on Monday, Ohanaeze spokesman, Alex Ogbonnia, described the position of the northern governors on zoning as unfortunate.
Ogbonnia said that the North is always dragging the rest of the country back with its selfish actions, adding that the region has benefited from the unity of the country more than it contributed to it.
He said, “If there is any group of people that benefits from the corporate existence of Nigeria, it is the North. This is because what northerners bring to the table is far less than what they take from the table. So instead of looking for a way for Nigeria to remain united, develop and grow, they are looking at the way Nigeria will break up. It is simply inconceivable that the North that benefits the most from this country would like the country to break up.
“I have often said that if they are talking of constitutionality, as a matter of fact, there is no place it is written in the constitution, but there is a gentleman agreement about power rotation between the north and south.
“The resolution was reached at the NUC (National Universities Commission) Event Centre at Abuja, and that was when Abdulsalami Abubakar was the Head of State and Commander-in-Chief. It was agreed that power would shift from North to the South and that was why all the parties concentrated on the South and it was zoned to the South-West in 1999.
“After Obasanjo, it went to Yar’Adua from North to Jonathan from South and returned to North, Buhari. So now after Buhari, it is supposed to come down South. That is gentleman agreement. It is unconscionable for the North to begin to talk about the power remaining in the North now.”
Ogbonnia asserted that Ohanaeze stands with the southern governors that power should come down to the South in 2023.
“So it is unfortunate that they will be trying to go contrary to the views expressed and demand by the southern governors. As far as I am concerned, the position of the Southern Governors is Ohanaeze’s stand. Ohanaeze stands with the southern governors that power should come down to the South.
“I don’t want to believe that the northerners are happy with what is happening in the country today. Only a person who is happy with what is happening will be talking about efforts that will bring about crisis and disunity. What is happening in Nigeria today is a result of injustice and inequity. Instead of trying to ameliorate the situation and bring about the desired change based on equity, fair play and somebody will be very busy orchestrating more injustice.”