The Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG has expressed extreme disappointment and is profoundly agitated by the recent ‘threats’ from the Southern Governors and elite to intimidate the North out of the presidential race.
The group in a statement sent to PlatinumPost and signed by its spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman on Monday said the renewed desperation by the South to threaten Northern people’s right to franchise a deliberate attempt to bastardize democracy is unacceptable.
While recalling past zoning arrangement, the group said: “As evidence of an agenda to impose a nonexistent zoning arrangement on the North that has its root and pattern in our history, recall that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which initiated the idea of zoning, had itself literally bungled it at all subsequent elections since 1999.
“One may recall that in the 1999 elections when the presidential slot was presumably zoned to the South West, during the PDP’s convention in Jos, Abubakar Rimi from the North and Alex Ekwueme from the South East also aspired alongside Olusegun in the same party which proved the absence of any enforceable agreement.
“Similarly, Southern politicians like Rochas Okorocha contested in the same PDP against Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in 2007 when the slot was meant for the North as testimony that the claimed zoning arrangement was even before birth.
“Again, Goodluck Jonathan, a Southerner, who was supposed to hold the two-year brief following Yar’Adua’s death and allow the North to complete its remaining Four Year-tenure, clung unto power from 2011 to 2014 and even refused to give way in 2015 all in the same PDP.
Continuing, the statement said: “The PDP as well jeopardized the purported zoning arrangement when for instance, a presidential candidate of the party emerged from the same region as the national chairman of the party. Colonel Amadu Ali, a northerner from Kogi State was national chairman between 2005 and 2008 when Yar’Adua another Northerner was allowed to aspire and secure the PDP presidential ticket.
“And Dr. Okwesileze Nwodo from southern Nigeria was national chairman in 2010 at the same time Jonathan, a fellow Southerner, clinched the PDP’s presidential ticket for the 2011 election.
“Worse, the consciousness appears to be eroding the southern politicians and elite that for the entire 16 years of PDP leadership, the North enjoyed only a two-year presidency and for the 22 years of the return to democracy in 1999 the North is holding power for the 7th year presently.”
The group noted that against the backdrop of these concerns and observations, it does not wish to remain silent or passive and allow things that affect the North and potentially cause greater democratic instability in the country to continue unchecked.
The group called on the North to anticipates and checkmates the maneuvers of the South in all possible and likely scenarios, and obtain ascendency over the voices of threat, intimidation, and blackmail sounding from the South.
The group further made the following stand:
1. That since democracy everywhere is a game of numbers, under no circumstance will the North succumb to intimidation, blackmail or threat from any quarter to abandon its collective franchise by not seeking the presidency in 2023 or any time in the future.
2. That the northern population which is in clear majority will never accept any presidential candidate who is the product of an undemocratic zoning process from whichever party.
3. Call the attention of the northern public to get prepared and sensitized to hold any political party, by whatever name it is called that attempts to deny northerners the right to contest the presidency as enemy of the North.
4. To warn any political party that takes any step to block the window for the possible emergence of a northern presidential candidate shall be roundly rejected by the North.
5. To specifically point out that no conspiracy in whatever form will stop the North from fielding a Northerner for the presidency in the PDP in 2023 irrespective of its recent body language that tends to block a northern candidacy by quickly zoning the national chairmanship position to the North which is unacceptable. The North shall definitely seek the presidential even if it holds the national chairmanship.
6. We reiterate our call on Northern voters to mobilize against sole concentration on party candidates and vote any credible, transparent, capable, and competent leaders.
7. The CNG has resolved to expose the faces of identified unpatriotic northern traitors who have been paid huge sums of money to market southern candidates