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Southern, middle belt leaders hail APC northern governors for backing power shift to south

  The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum (SMBLF) has commended northern governors in the All Progressives Congress (APC) for backing po...

 


The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum (SMBLF) has commended northern governors in the All Progressives Congress (APC) for backing power shift to the south.

 

On Saturday, President Muhammadu Buhari, while meeting presidential hopefuls, reportedly said the southern region should produce the presidential standard-bearer of the APC.

 

In a statement on Sunday, Edwin Clark, elder statesman; Ayo Adebanjo, Afenifere leader; Pogu Bitrus, president-general of Middle Belt Forum, and George Obiozor, president-general of the Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide, said the decision of the APC governors has provided a “glimmer of hope”.

 

They said the APC has demonstrated that it is a truly “national political party” that is committed to the unity, peace and progress of the country.

 

 “We totally endorse the conclusions of the APC governors and political leaders from the Northern states of Nigeria, after their meeting yesterday; that after eight years of northern presidency under President Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2023 elections should come from the southern states of Nigeria, ‘in the interest of building a stronger, more united and more progressive country’, they said.

 

“This is in tandem with our long-held position on the rotation of the presidency, and deserves commendation.

 

“Just when the nation’s future and political fortunes were looking dimmest, with all sorts of appalling shenanigans, the President and the Northern APC Governors, have provided a glimmer of hope; indicating that some of our politicians still cherish the ‘oneness’ of Nigeria beyond parochial, political reparations.

 

”Despite certain reservations, this decision has occasioned a level of optimism that perhaps all hope is not yet lost for the country.

 

“And by this development, the APC has not only ingratiate itself with the people of Southern Nigeria, the Middle Belt region, and indeed, all true lovers of democracy, equity, fairness and justice, but has also demonstrated that it is a truly ‘national’ political party that is committed to the unity, peace and progress of Nigeria.”

 

They appealed to southern presidential hopefuls in the party to close ranks and produce a consensus candidate.

 

“We further restate our call on the people of Southern Nigeria and the Middle Belt region, as well as, all well-meaning Nigerians, to, as a sacred obligation to the nation, NOT VOTE for any political party that does not present a southern candidate in the 2023 presidential election,” the group said.

 

 “The forum warns politicians who place their ambitions over and above the health of the polity that the nation cannot afford to fritter away the labours of our heroes, past and present, by allowing such self-seeking politicians to, callously and carelessly, jettison arrangements and understandings that have sustained the oneness and stability of the country over the years.”

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