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Southern forum lists conditions for backing presidential aspirant in 2019


The Southern Nigeria Forum (SNF) yesterday said it would consult widely to determine the candidate that could get its support during the 2019 general elections.In a statement in Enugu after its extraordinary general meeting on Sunday night in London, the group maintained that the candidate of its choice must commit to restructuring as a way of returning the country to true federalism in his or her first year in office.

SNF decried the delay in the passage of the budget of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the conduct of the upcoming polls, adding that the development was dangerous to the nation’s nascent democracy.It urged policy makers to avoid anything that could hinder the electoral umpire from fully discharging its constitutional duties by way of giving Nigerians free, fair and credible elections.

Signed by the Country Administrator, Rev. Okechukwu Obioha; Gregory Obasohan (South West); Charles Ayigbo (Admin – West London); and Virginus Ukachukwu (South South); the statement lauded the recent meeting by leaders of the National Assembly and INEC chairman, urging the citizens to support the commission in conducting credible elections next year.

The body pledged to intensify efforts in ensuring that Nigerians who were yet to register and collect their permanent voter’s cards (PVCs) do so as well as making sure that every vote counts.The forum regretted the recent invasion of the National Assembly by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS), stating that it was capable of retarding the democratic gains made so far.

It commended Acting President Yemi Osinbajo for rising to the occasion by dismissing from service the immediate past chief executive of the secret police, Lawal Musa Daura and setting up a probe panel on the incident.The move, according to the group, had gone a long way to diffuse tension and anger in the land. It tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to sanction all culprits on return from his vacation to the United Kingdom.

The organisation resolved to work for the unity and peaceful co-existence of all the states in the southern region as well as promotion of good governance in the country.It unanimously agreed to continue to sensitise the people of the south and work towards the promotion of issues that are beneficial to them.

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INECOkechukwu Obioha
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