Southern Governors: Nigeria’s next president should come from the south

According to southern Governors, Nigeria’s next president should come from the south as they plan towards the 2023 presidential elections.

GOVERNORS from the southern part of Nigeria have said that the country’s next president should emerge from their region in 2023.

In a communique issued at the end of a meeting of Southern Governors Forum held in Lagos on Monday, the 5th of July, 2021, the chief executives of states in the region said the presidency should be rotated between the North and the South.

“The Forum re-afffirmed its commitment to the unity of Nigeria on the pillars of equity, fairness, justice, progress and peaceful co-existence between and among its people.”

It’s no news that political parties in Nigeria  have rotated their presidential candidates between the North and the South since 1999. The two regions have had their turns in Aso Rock, with two southern and two northern presidents occupying the coveted seat of power over the past 22 years of return to democracy.

However, there has been a growing apprehension that the northern part of Nigeria may retain presidential powers beyond 2023 due to its strength demographically. Based on that context, the southern governors said, for the sake of equity, presidential powers must return to their region when Muhammadu Buhari, a northerner, leaves the seat in 2023.

In addition, the governors stated that security institutions should duly consult with the governors whenever they needed to carry out any operations in their states, noting that funds deducted from the Federation Account for the  Nigeria Police Security Trust Fund needed to be distributed among the states  and the Federal Government in order to tackle security challenges.

The governors, however,  said security operatives had been  working very hard to ensure there is safety in their region.

The meeting happens to be a followup of  a resolution reached in May at Asaba, Delta State,  regarding the state of the nation.

Governors who were present at the meeting included: Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Adegboyega Oyetola (Osun) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu).

Some others were Emmanuel Udom (Akwa Ibom) and Diri Duoye (Bayelsa).

The Governors of Edo, Imo, Anambra, Ebonyi and Abia states who were absent at the meeting sent their respective representatives except for Cross River state Ben Ayade.

Furthermore, they commiserated with the families of the security operatives that lost their lives in the line of duty. Southern Nigeria has experienced increased crises in recent times that led to the death of civilians and security operatives.

Between October 2020 and April 2021, not less than 21 police stations were attacked by hoodlums in South-East Nigeria.

Clashes between the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)/Eastern Security Network (ESN) and security operatives have also led to numerous deaths and attacks.

In the South-West, the state of security has also become worse, due to the recurring violent conflicts between herders and farmers.

Earlier in February, over 28 persons had been killed due to a reprisal attack on some communities in Yewa North Local Government Area, Ogun State.

Some of the communities that were victims of the violent attacks included: Igan-Alade, Lashilo, Oja Odan, Ijoun, Ateru, Moro, Ologun, Iyana Meta, Igbooro, Egbeda and Kuse, among others.

Based on the attacks, residents in the communities escaped to the Republic of Benin to seek refuge against the attacks on their lives and property.

In the initial meeting of the governors that happened in May, they had resolved to ban open grazing in all the southern states in the country. However, on Monday, they set a timeline of Wednesday 7th of July – September 1st, 2021, for the official announcement of the anti-open grazing law in all the states in the region.

In the communique, it also stated that the southern governors had re-emphasised the need for state police.

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