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Retaining power in North by 2023 insensitive, Igbo youths declare

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[FILES] Buhari

Igbo youths under the aegis of Coalition for Southeast Youth Leaders (COSEYL), yesterday, declared that it would be insensitive and unpatriotic to retain power in the North after President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure in 2023.

In a statement issued in Enugu, they argued that those asking for the power to remain in the North do not mean well for the country, stressing that opposition to power rotation was a violation of the principle of brotherhood and federal character as enshrined in Nigeria’s constitution.

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In the statement signed by its President, Goodluck Ibem and Secretary, Kanice Igwe, the group insisted that it was the turn of the South-East zone to produce the president after Buhari in 2023, stressing that the region did not lack persons with the right credentials and experience to provide leadership in the country.

“COSEYL is alarmed at the position of some groups and individuals, who are canvassing that power should remain in the North, as according to them, zoning the presidency could lead to a situation where the unqualified candidate will emerge as president in 2023.

“We dare to ask our Northern brothers, what are the qualifications for the office of the president lacking among the presidential candidates from the South-East geopolitical zone?

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“We also want to let them know that it is a violation of the principle of brotherhood and section 14 (3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which provides that the composition of the government of the federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of his affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect federal character.

“It also explicitly states the need to promote national unity and command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from states, few ethnic or other sectional groups in government or its agencies,” they said.

The group insisted that it would be unconstitutional to deny Ndigbo the presidential slot come 2023, adding that the South-East remained the only zone that has not occupied the office of the president and in the country and 2023 was the right time for all political parties to zone their presidential ticket to the region.

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“The Constitution is the framework upon which the country is administered and it will be against the spirit of unity and progress to deny Ndigbo support to occupy the office in 2023. Ndigbo has qualified persons with impressive credentials, who have what it takes to move the country forward.

“It is the spirit of equity and fair play that informed the decision of our founding fathers, elders and statesmen to have a mutual understanding of rotating the president’s office between the North and South,” they added.

The youths restated their readiness to dialogue with any group in the country on the issue in the interest of unity and Nigeria’s continued existence, as an indivisible entity.

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