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PANDEF, INC, others vow to resist presidency remaning in North in 2023

By Ann Godwin, Port Harcourt
03 October 2021   |   4:13 am
The Pan Delta Forum, PANDEF, and the Ijaw National Congress, INC, among other coalitions in the Niger Delta have vowed to resist any attempt to zone the 2023 Presidency to the North.

The Pan Delta Forum, PANDEF, and the Ijaw National Congress, INC, among other coalitions in the Niger Delta have vowed to resist any attempt to zone the 2023 Presidency to the North.

The groups reiterated that there is an agreement on zoning the Presidency between North and South for eight years, after which other regions get their turn.

Speaking with The Guardian in Port Harcourt, PANDEF’s Deputy National Chairman, Dr. Thompson Okorotie, said: “First, the northerners should know that they don’t mean well for this country, if they are asking that the President should come from North in 2023. There is an agreement that zones the Presidency to South and North for two terms…”

He said it would be very unreasonable that after President Muhammadu Buhari spent eight years in office, the North is still asking that the Presidency go again to the region. He urged the South to stand firm and ensure that the right thing is done, if the North insists on its agenda.

“It is this impunity that has put the country in this mess for so long; we are not making progress. Let leaders do the right thing at all levels of leadership, then we will make progress,” he said.

On whether the North has genuine voter population to clinch the post, he said he didn’t want to speculate, although it was obvious things went wrong with their acclaimed population figure.

“INEC should make public genuine registration figures and let results be transmitted. That will solve the problem of genuine voting and voters. We can no longer sleep in our homes, prices of goods have gone up and many Nigerians do not have the income to sustain themselves. So, Nigerians are looking forward to good governance in 2023,” he said.

Similarly, INC’s spokesman, Ezonebi Oyakamegbea, said it is despicable and evil for northerners to demand Presidency in 2023.

“There is an agreement that after eight years, power goes to the South. They used this agreement to push out former President Goodluck Jonathan from office, and they have completed their eight years. So, for the sake of justice and in line with the agreement, power should return to the South.

“If they think the higher census number they have claimed will be used to achieve their agenda, it will not work…”

He said if the Northerners insist on their agenda, Referendum would be an option for Southerners.

The Chairman, Coalition of Rivers Oil and Gas Host Communities, Barituka Loanyie, said: “No Niger Delta person will be happy with the Northern agenda. If we are truly practising democracy, then there should not be any issue of minority. They have marginalised us in all aspects— politically, revenue allocations and all that…

“If some section feel they have the political will and power to do whatever they like in this country, then we are determined to resist such agenda because it is not just selfish, it is cruel, primitive and greedy.”