2023: CSOs Threaten APC, PDP, Others Over Zoning, Insist power must return to south


…To mobilize Nigerians against political parties if zoning is jettisoned

A coalition called Concerned Nigeria Citizens on Power Shift to the South Come 2023, Tuesday, insisted the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, the leading opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and others to zone presidency to the Southern part of Nigeria.

This was read out in an address with subject ‘A Call for all Political Parties to Respect Zoning Arrangement’ jointly signed by the leaders while making their stand known at a press conference held in Abuja, and they include Convener, Femi Osabinu; Secretary General, Alhaji Sidi Ali; North Central, Okpanachi Jacob; South West, Femi Akindele Lawson; North West, Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammed; South East, Dr Uzoh Chukwuemeka; and South South, Barr Blessing Hossanah.

They also threatened to use their massive structures to mobilize Nigerians to storm the streets and stop presidential party primaries if parties go ahead to breach the zoning and power rotation agreements.

They disclosed that they are already strategizing to surprise the leaders of political parties who are planning to cause chaos in the polity with disregard to the zoning agreement and arrangement earlier reached after 1999 presidential election.

The statement reads in part, “We have watched with keen interest various agitations across the zones of our federating units, positions of our renounced ethnic nationalities on need to zone Presidency to Southern part of the country come 2023.

“We have also noticed how unstable and highly political most of our political parties are responding to the call for power rotation, this has made us to come together to lend our voice to the voice of reasoning, voice of unified Nigeria and greater Nigeria by urging all concerned political parties to zone Presidency to the South.

“There is no doubt that the North has had its fair share of the country leadership for the past seven years and now it is time to zone the Presidency to the Southern part of Nigeria at this point of our history as a nation.

“Since return to civil rule in 1999, there has been an unwritten conventional way for power rotation between the North and South. It baffles us that as the debate intensifies and party national conventions draw nearer, most political parties are planning to play down the zoning arrangement with selfish excuses of population spread across the country.

“It has become more glaring and obvious that, our bane of problem if they go ahead by jettisoning the zoning arrangement is caused by the selfish political class, and Nigerian must be aware of them.

“This decision doesn’t respect unity of the country, and might throw the country into confusion and shake the unity of the country. We have witnessed sharp division along religion line ahead of 2023 general election. The current security situation and supremacy of a region is also affecting and shaking the unity bedrock of the nation.”

They called on political parties to respect the zoning agreement based on power rotation, “Political gladiators across the divide have taken up arms and fight via exchange of words on power rotation. Some want it to remain in the North, while others want it back to the South for equality sake.

“Presidential election in Nigeria is highly influential and powerful as we all confers greatest sense of belonging to the federation on any ethnic or geopolitical zone that produces the President.

“This no doubt has deepened the agitation for power shift by various regions and we thus resolve to implore all major political parties to have a deep think ahead of their national conventions ensure that power rotates to the south as this will ensuring that the country remains united and sense of belonging is given to all by zoning the Presidential tickets to the Southern Part of the Country come 2023.

“While we know power is not given alarcate, we will deploy our structures across the country and within the various parties to further project the call and agitation to save the soul of the country.

“Northern region has been in power since 2015 and after exhausting the constitutional Eight Years by 2023, it is expected that power will rotate to the South. This is lawful and can guarantee peace and unity of the country not the contrary.

They further stated that, “Let it be known that, there won’t be either APC, PDP or any other political party if there is no country called Nigeria. National interest must override personal interest of those pushing parties to jettison the conventional rotation agenda of Presidency.

“We thus urge all political parties to follow what will retain the unity of the country and zone presidency to southern states come 2023. Parties should stop playing politics with Nigerians.”