A coalition of Nothern youths has thrown its backing for the next Nigerian president to be chosen from the south.
This is in contrast with the position of Prof. Ango Abdullahi’s – led Nothern Elders Forum that the region should retain the presidency in 2023.
Professor Ango, at a book launch in December 2019 had said that rotational presidency was not constitutional but rather making of political parties to win elections.
The arrangement he said was encouraged by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) which later abandoned it during the former President Goodluck Jonathan administration.
The former vice-chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, said “Go and check the constitution. There is no place it is written that the president of Nigeria will be rotated according to local governments, states or geopolitical zones.
“In fact, the geopolitical zone does not exist in the constitution. Go and check,” he had said.
However, the coalition of youths groups under the auspices of the Arewa Youth Assembly urged their kinsmen to be magnanimous enough and give the southern part of the country, especially the South-South geopolitical zone, the chance to produce the Presidency in 2023.
Arguing that the presidency should be shifted to the south-south, they said they were ready to support a youthful president within the age bracket of between 40 and 50 years.
They said the nation is tired of old and recycled politicians.
Mohammed Danlami who is the leader of the coalition addressed the press conference held at the Arewa House, Kaduna, he said it would be unfair for the North not to relinquish political power to the South in 2023.
He said that he understands that the decision taken by the at the moment might be hard as northerners but it was aimed at moving the nation forward.
Mr Danlami said “Arewa Youth Assembly has noticed a series of misleading comments being orchestrated by some political buccaneers over leadership factor that North should retain the national leadership come 2023.
“It is grossly unfair, malicious and wicked for all those fuelling or promoting this project. We say No!
“The North has occupied the leadership position of the country since independence, more than any other region.
“It is time for the South-South youths to produce the next president in 2023 to complete their eight years of leadership.
“We seek to redefine the role and leadership development process of the country.
“We are charting a new path to national rebirth to put an end to the issues of recycling old politician for leadership.
“Nigeria is a nation standing half in the light of progress and promise, and a half in the darkness of injustice.
“We live in a period of grave uncertainty. As things now stand, we have no idea where the nation would be heading to if the North retains power in 2023.
“The greatest challenge facing Nigeria today is that of leadership. Nigeria needs a leader that the people can identify with and who can inspire them to greater heights.
“We are calling for power shift to the South-South. We need leaders with vision and passion because sound and visionary political leadership are vital for Nigerian peaceful co-existence.
“With this timely intervention ahead of 2023, we are championing the course of youths within the age bracket of 40 to 50 years to lead Nigeria to the Promised Land.
“A vibrant youth who is detribalised; a youth who has vision enough to foresee the needs of the people and compassionate enough to match these needs with actions.”