• en

Nigeria: Foisting Northern Presidential Candidates Will Be Grave Tragedy, Say Southern and Middle Belt Leaders

The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum (SMBLF) has condemned in strong terms the decision by the two main political parties, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and opposition Peoples

The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum (SMBLF) has condemned in strong terms the decision by the two main political parties, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to jettison “the time-honored principle of rotation,” ahead of their presidential primaries, “which has traditionally served as the glue holding Nigeria together.”

The SMBLF in a communiqué, issued Friday at the end of its meeting in Abuja, signed by its Chairman, Chief Edwin Clark; Leader of Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo; President-General, Middle Belt Forum, Dr. Pogu Bitrus; President-General, Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide, Prof George Obiozor; and National Chairman, Pan-Niger Delta Forum, Senator Emmanuel Essien, warned that the reported permutations by the two parties to foist Northern presidential candidates on the nation would be a grave misadventure, with grim consequences on national concord and harmony.

It reiterated its stance on the principle of zoning and power rotation between the North and the South, as the basis on which the Nigerian Federation has, since Independence, been premised, stressing that they are fundamental to the future existence of the country.

SMBLF therefore called on all delegates of all political parties to reject Presidential aspirants, or candidates, from the North, and only vote for those from the South in the party primaries.

The Forum also called on all politicians and professionals from the South not to accept, on any account, the position of Vice President, as that would amount to a shameful committal of present and future generations of Southern Nigeria to senseless political vassalage.

The leaders, while commending a number of northern governors such as Malam Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State, Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno State, and Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State, who have demonstrated great patriotism by their public support for the rotation of the presidency to the South, urged other northern leaders, who believe in the oneness of Nigeria, to support this cause, because therein lies the unity and progress of Nigeria.

On the worsening state of insecurity and rampaging violence across the country, the Forum warned that Nigeria was plummeting into a state of total disorder and lawlessness, with attacks on innocent people resulting in kidnapping, loss of lives and destruction of properties happening in different parts of the country almost daily.
The Forum condemned in unmistakable terms, the killing of Miss Deborah Samuel Yakubu, a student of the College of Education, Sokoto, by her Muslim schoolmates and the wide spread violence that engulfed the state, following the arrest of two of her killers.

According to the leaders: “Sadly, the federal government and its security agencies are not doing enough to arrest the situation, whereby people can no longer travel safely either by road, rail or even by air to Kaduna State in particular. It is not only frightening but unimaginable that despite the heavy presence of military commands and installations in the State there could be such security challenges.”

The SMBLF cited the bombing of the Kaduna-Abuja bound train over 60 days ago, as well as the brazen attack on motorists on the Abuja-Kaduna Road about two days ago, saying, “on both occasions, innocent lives were lost while several people were wounded with many abducted. Undesirably, most of those who were kidnapped are still in the terrorists’ captivity after 60 days.”

It said it classified these killings as pervasive acts of aggression on the indigenous people, “being perpetrated by elements of Islamic extremism and terrorists, as cultural genocide and ethnic cleansing.”
The SMBLF continued: “The Meeting cautions that these bellicosities and deliberate programme to exterminate the indigenous populations of the Middle Belt are, by implication, acts of aggression against the rest of Nigeria, and would not be tolerated any further. The Meeting resolved to resist, through all legitimate means, the barefaced attempts by religious fundamentalists to impose on the rest of us, a Nigeria of “one country, different laws.”

Follow us on: