By Dirisu Yakubu & Cecilia Anthony, Abuja
The Nigeria Northern States Legislatures Forum, yesterday backed a Nigerian of Northern extraction to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari whose second in office comes to an end on May 29, 2023.
The forum stated this in a communiqué issued at the end of an advocacy meeting convened by the Speaker, Kogi State House of Assembly, Prince Matthew Kolawole, for the 2023 Presidential ambition of the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
The forum in the communiqué read by the National Chairman, Conference of Nigeria States Legislatures Speakers, Hon. Abubakar Suleiman said that contrary to the southern governors’ demand, the north deserves to retain the plum office in 2023.
“The meeting reviewed the rotational Presidency as advocated recently by the Southern Governors’ Forum. However, the Northern legislators believe the rotation of the Presidency should be in favour of the Northern part of the country.
“This is because, from 1999, the Southern part of the country has ruled the country for 14 years while the north will be 10 years at the end of President Buhari’s tenure in 2023,’’ the communiqué read in part.
The meeting attended by four delegates each from 18 of the Northern states, also resolved that Bello was competent and has the cognate experience to fix the challenges bedeviling the country.
They however advised the 46-years old Bello to embark on nationwide consultation as soon as possible.
“The forum resolved that every legislator should go back home with a view to advocating and consulting his or her constituents and stakeholders on the presidential aspiration of Bello.
“We also resolved that a National Working Committee be constituted with a view to having wider consultation on Bello presidential aspiration across the country,” they added.
Earlier in his remarks, Kolawole faulted the clamour for a Southern President by governors of the 17 Southern states, adding that rotational Presidency is not in the nation’s constitution.
He urged all legislators elected under the platform of the All Progressive Congress, APC, in Northern states to rally around the Presidential ambition of Bello as preferred choice of the ruling party in 2023.
He particularly tasked the North Central to walk the whole distance by supporting Bello’s ambition, adding that since the attainment of independence over six decades ago, the zone had not produced the President of Nigeria.
“It is evident that Nigerians deserve a leader that is young, vibrant and competent with the capacity to deliver,” he said, adding that Bello “fits in to take our great country to another level of development considering his giant strides in the area of security, youths and women inclusion in governance.”
Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Hon Olarewaju Adetiba, said that seeking support for Bello was key to sustain the achievements by President Muhammadu-Buhari led administration since the party took over power in 2015.