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2023: “Don’t Colonize The Presidency” – PANDEF Replies CNG After ‘Attack’ On Akeredolu



The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has tackled the Coalition of Northern Groups for describing the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu as a threat to democracy.

PANDEF on Friday said the CNG is irrational and delusional for attacking Gov. Akeredolu over his statement on the 2023 presidency which he insisted must be zoned to the south as the region won’t support any northern candidate or the party that fields a northerner.

Naija News had reported that the Ondo State Governor and Chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu declared that any political party that fields a northern candidate in the 2023 presidential election will lose.

The Governor spoke on Tuesday at his office in Akure the Ondo State capital when he played host to members of a group, Power Rotation Movement, led by its Chairman, Dr Pogu Bitrus, who also doubles as the Chairman, Middle Belt Forum.

But the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has berated Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State and Chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum, over his comment on the Northern presidency.

CNG through its spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, described governor Akeredolu as a threat to democracy, saying his comment is empty and useless.

Suleiman stated that the threat by Akeredolu is another attempt to encroach on the fundamental rights of political parties to field candidates of their choices, and the right of voters to freely exercise choices over who leads them.

He stated that the North will not be threatened, bullied or blackmailed into giving up the political power which ought to be settled democratically through elections.

The CNG statement describing Akeredolu as a threat to democracy however didn’t sit well with PANDEF as the group in its own response also agreed with the Ondo Governor and insisted on a southern presidency for 2023.

The PANDEF reaction is contained in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Ken Robinson.

It told CNG and other groups to accept the truth that a northerner should not succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.

“How can any sane person refer to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu as a threat to democracy? Do they need to be apprised of the credentials of Mr Governor? the statement questioned.

“PANDEF wholly backs the statement of the Governor and restates the resolution of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum at its meeting of January 13, 2022, that any political party that fields a northern candidate should not count on the support of the four regions in the 2023 presidential election.

“Why is it difficult for people to accept the truth? It is simply unthinkable that anyone would consider another northern presidency after President Muhammadu Buhari’s eight years.

“Organisations like the so-called Coalition of Northern Groups seem incorrigibly apathetic about the peace, unity and stability of Nigeria. They have, by their utterances, presented themselves as assemblages of unpatriotic individuals, who, perhaps, benefit from the inglorious goings-on in the country.

“PANDEF urges these groups to strive to appreciate the true tenets of democracy and stop the hallucination. The north should not and cannot retain Nigeria’s presidency beyond 29th May 2023, in the interest of national harmony.”

PANDEF added that the demand for zoning is about the future and peace of Nigeria, saying a southern presidency in 2023 will guarantee peace, fairness, justice, and equity.

“Defining the just and rightful demands for zoning and power rotation as threats and blackmail is a logical fallacy. Nobody is threatening nor attempting to intimidate anyone; the South, and other patriotic Nigerians who are concerned about the future of Nigeria, are simply insisting that the fundamental principles of fairness, justice and equity must be respected and upheld in the power equation of Nigeria.

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“Let’s remind the said Coalition of Northern Groups and their sympathizers that the appropriation of rights by any section of the country must be measured against the rights of the others. Undoubtedly, no group or section of Nigeria can arrogate to itself or colonize the presidency of Nigeria,” it added.

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