The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has vowed that a northern presidential candidate will be put forward to take over power from President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
The group, a coalition of 52 groups made this known on Monday despite the agitations for power rotation which will allow the presidency to go to the southern region in 2023.
Disagreeing with the idea of a 2023 southern presidency, CNG in a statement by its spokesperson Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, says rotation is not constitutional hence can’t be forced on anyone.
It vowed to expose some northern politicians which it claimed have been paid to promote a southern presidential candidate.
According to him, whatever agreements the political parties or politicians have between themselves is not binding on others.
Suleiman alleged that the southern region is attempting to blackmail the north into conceding the 2023 presidential ticket but said the group won’t succumb to any political antics targeted at blocking northerners from seeking elective political offices in Nigeria.
“In the unfolding political chess game, therefore, it is essential that the North anticipates and checkmates the maneuvers of the South in all possible and likely scenarios, and obtain the ascendency over the voices of threat, intimidation and blackmail sounding from the South.
“We thus make the following demand that since democracy everywhere is a game of numbers, under no circumstance will the North succumb to intimidation, blackmail or threat from any quarter to abandon its collective franchise by not seeking the presidency in 2023 or any time in the future.
“We call the attention of the northern public to get prepared and sensitized to hold any political party, by whatever name it is called that attempts to deny northerners the right to contest the presidency as an enemy of the North.
“We warn any political party that takes any step to block the window for the possible emergence of a northern presidential candidate shall be roundly rejected by the North.
“No conspiracy in whatever form will stop the North from fielding a Northerner for the presidency in the PDP in 2023 irrespective of its recent body language that tends to block a northern candidacy by quickly zoning the national chairmanship position to the North which is unacceptable.
“The North shall definitely seek the presidential even if it holds the national chairmanship. We have resolved to expose the faces of identified unpatriotic northern traitors who have been paid huge sums of money to market southern candidates,” he stated.
The CNG further said its view is based on wide consultations with the people of the zone as earlier publicly made known by the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) and the Northern Governors’ Forum.
“We reiterate our call on Northern voters to mobilize against sole concentration on party candidates and vote any credible, transparent, capable, and competent leader.
“After due consultation with prominent stakeholders, leaders and elders, we have categorically resolved to firmly and solidly align completely with the position taken by the Northern Elders Forum as expressed by Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed and that of the Northern Governors Forum, that zoning of elective positions is unconstitutional, undemocratic and must be jettisoned.
“For the avoidance of doubt, therefore, the CNG hereby declares that the North, a major stakeholder in whatever happens in and to Nigeria, shall not be obliged to respect any zoning arrangement of any elective position in whatever party.
“As we categorically reject anything to do with any undemocratic process such as zoning, we urge all northerners to resist the antics and tactics of the self-appointed antagonists and hired cronies from the North who are today all over the place conscripted in the conspiracy to deceive northerners into abandoning what God has blessed us with; its human resources,” he said.