Leaders in the Niger Delta region under the auspices of the Pan Niger Delta Forum PANDEF have vowed that they will not support any political party that fields a Northern candidate in the 2023 presidential election.
As the election draws nearer, there have been calls and counter calls for political parties to field a presidential candidate from the South-South region.
The Niger Delta leadersÂ stated this in reaction to a statement by the Coalition of Northern Groups.
Recall that chairman of the Southern Governorsâ€™ Forum and governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, had warned political parties against fielding Northern candidates for next yearâ€™s presidential election. The Coalition of Nothern Groups CNG described this as a threat to democracy.
In their reaction, PANDEF described the remark of the CNG as irrational and delusional.
Speaking on behalf of the group, PANDEF National Publicity Secretary, Ken Robinson, said through their utterances, the CNG and their supportersÂ showed they were benefitting from the social malaise plaguing the nation.
The body said
â€œPANDEF wholly backs the statement of the governor and restates the resolution of the Southern and Middle Belt Leadersâ€™ 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 Buhariâ€™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 Nigeriaâ€™s presidency beyond 29th May, 2023 in the interest of national harmony.
Defining the just and rightful demands for zoning and power rotation as threats and blackmail is a logical fallacy.
Nobody is threatening or 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.
Let us remind the said Coalition of Northern Groups and their sympathisers 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 monopolise the presidency of Nigeria.â€