By Dapo Akinrefon
LAGOSâ€”An Ijaw pressure group, Niger Delta Nationalities Forum, has urged Vice President Goodluck Jonathan not to yield to pressure mounted on him to become actiing president.
The group, however, berated those calling on President Yarâ€™Adua to resign on health grounds, saying they were blowing the issue out of proportion.
Addressing newsmen in Lagos, Lagos State chairman of the group, Mr Manager Seigha, also warned that the present zoning arrangement should not be scuttled as this may prevent the emergence a South-South presidency.
Seigha said: â€œOur position is that Nigerians are over blowing the issue and that the most important thing as Niger Deltans, from our view point, is that we are happier with the present position of Umaru Yarâ€™Adua as the Pressident and Goodluck Jonathan as Vice President . â€œWe are not part of those who are interested in the vice president taking over from Yarâ€™Adua.â€
According to him, â€œwe also want people to respect the current zoning formular. For instance, Chief Obasanjo, from the South-West ruled for eight years. We are waiting patiently for the North to complete their eight years so that the presidency will return to the South and this will afford the South-South the opportunity to present a candidate of their choice.
We know that by that time, the South West will not be too eager. We are not too keen about the present scheming about who takes over. As far as we are concerned, nothing has changed in the country.â€
On the presidentâ€™s ill-health, he said â€œwe think that the issue of President Yarâ€™Aduaâ€™s health is being blown out of proportion and why we think it is not a big deal is because our prayer is that Yarâ€™Adua should be healthy enough to return to his duty post to continue work.â€
â€œWe advise Vice President Goodluck Jonathan to be loyal and that he should desist from listening to fifth columnist who are out to sabotage him.
We know that by the end of the Yarâ€™Adua administration, Jonathan will be a suitable candidate to take over from Yarâ€™Adua when itâ€™s our turn.
We want the zoning arrangement of eight years to remain, there should not be any need to scuttle this arrangement already on ground. We also want to commend the Federal government on the on-going amnesty deal which has led to peace in the Niger Delta,â€ he stated.