By Emma Amaize
Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, umbrella group of monarchs, leaders, and stakeholders of coastal states of Niger-Delta, maintained emphatically, Friday, that a Southerner must take over from President Muhammadu Buhari, who is a Northerner, at the end of his two tenures in 2023.
“Whether the Southerner is from the South-South, South-East or South-West is a different matter entirely,” the group stated in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Hon Ken Robinson.
The regional group was responding to a supposed recommendation of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Committee, chaired by the governor of Bauchi state, that the 2023 Presidential ticket of the party is open to all zones of the country.
PANDEF dismissed the recommendation as “irrational and inconsistent with extant provisions of the PDP constitution on zoning between the North and South.”
“A Northern President (Buhari) is to complete eight years by 2023. The presidency must, therefore, rotate to the South in 2023. That is the position of PANDEF.
“It is absurd for anyone to imagine that the north would retain the presidency. Nature abhors injustice; the sun does not rise in the east and set in the east.
“It would be in the best interest of the Peoples Democratic Party to toss the said report to the litter bin and work towards ensuring that its 2023 presidential candidate is from the south. Whether the person emerges from the south-south, south-east, or south-west is a different matter entirely.
“The PDP, and indeed any other political party, need not be told that It would be a suicidal adventure for it to toy with the idea of presenting a northern presidential flag bearer in 2023.
“Be it in line with the unwritten conventions of the nation’s history as cited by Governor Bala Mohammed’s Committee or on the grounds of fairness, equity, and merit, the president of Nigeria in 2023 must come from the South.
“No region in the country is lacking in men and women of notable character, competence, and acumen,” PANDEF declared.