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2023: Southern, Middle Belt leaders insist on power shift to South

By Adamu Abuh, Abuja
15 January 2022   |   4:10 am
Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum (SMBLF) insists that power must shift to the southern part of the country in 2023.

Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum (SMBLF) insists that power must shift to the southern part of the country in 2023.

Rising from an emergency meeting in Abuja, yesterday, the forum maintained that the extant constitution and structure of Nigeria are lopsided and grossly flawed.

The parley, chaired by Chief Edwin Clark, argued that since the northern part of the country would have fully enjoyed the office of the President for eight years by 2023, it will be fair and just for the exalted seat to shift to the South.

In a communiqué after the meeting, the forum enjoined registered political parties in the country desirous of support from the four geopolitical zones within their sphere of influence to zone their respective presidential tickets to the South.

The leaders restated the demand for the restructuring of the country through a new constitution that would enthrone equity, fairness and justice in the country.

Condemning the senseless killing of innocent citizens across the country, especially in the North West, they urged the government and security agencies to redouble efforts to safeguard the life and property.

They also called on governors and National Assembly members from the four regions to commit themselves to the subject of restructuring, reaffirming their commitment to the unity of Nigeria, situated on the tenets of equity, fairness, justice, and the principle of federalism.

In attendance at the meeting were delegates of Afenifere for the South West, Ohanaeze Ndigbo for the South East, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) for the South South and the Middle Belt Forum (MBF) for the Middle Belt.

They include Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo; President-General of Ohanaeze, Prof. George Obiozor; President of MBF, Dr. Pogu Bitrus; and National Chairman of PANDEF, Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien.

Former governors, ministers, federal and state legislators, top politicians and professionals from the Southern and Middle Belt regions also attended the meeting.