From Okwe Obi, Abuja
Ahead of next year’s presidential poll, Coalition of Civil Society Groups (CCGS), has urged the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to zone their tickets to the South.
CCGS President, Basset Etuk Williams, and Secretary General, Abubakar Ibrahim, at a media parley yesterday in Abuja, argued that since the return of democracy on May 29, 1999, there has been “an unwritten convention in the country for power rotation between the North and South.”
They further contended that the north having held sway since 2015 it would be morally and political right for the next president to the South.
“This is lawful and can guarantee peace and unity of the country. There will not be either APC or PDP if there is no country called Nigeria.
“We have watched with keen interest various agitations across the zones of our federating units, and we come up with agenda of championing and clamoring for Power shift to the South come 2023.
“There is no doubt that the North has had its fair share of the country leadership and now it is time to zone the Presidency to the Southern part of Nigeria which in our own opinion deserves it.
“Rising from our expanded National Executive meeting, we resolved to get involved and join in the call for power shift to the South come 2023.
“It baffles us that as the debate intensifies, most of those involved don’t know what is generally at stake especially as it relates to unity of the country.
“We have witnessed sharp division along religion line ahead of 2023 general election. The current security situation and supremacy of a region is also affecting and shaking the unity bedrock of the nation.
“Political gladiators across the divide have taken up arms and fight via exchange of words on power rotation. Some want it to remain in the North, while others want it back to the South for equality sake,” they said.
Williams, however, expressed dismay over agitations rising on rotation of the presidency, explaining that, presidential election in Nigeria is highly influential and powerful as we all confers greatest sense of belonging to the federation on any ethnic or geopolitical zone that produces the President.
“This no doubt has deepened the agitation for power shift by various regions and we thus resolve to implore all major political parties to have a deep think ahead of their convention and zoning by ensuring that the country remains united and sense of belonging is given to all by zoning the Presidential tickets to the Southern Part of the Country come 2023.”