Chairman of Southern Governors’ Forum (SGF) and Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, yesterday, warned that any party that fields a northern candidate in the 2023 presidential election will lose.
Akeredolu disclosed that governors in the southern part of the country, under the auspices of SGF, are determined to ensure the next president comes from the region.
The governor spoke in his office during a courtesy visit by members of a group, Power Rotation Movement, led by its Chairman, Dr. Pogu Bitrus, who also doubles as the Chairman, Middle Belt Forum.
Other members of the group include Co-chair, General Collins Ihekire (rtd), representing Ohanaeze Ndigbo; National Organising Secretary of Afenifere, Abagun Kole Omololu; representative of Yoruba Council of Elders, Ayodele Oni; National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Comrade Jaye Ajayi; National Publicity Secretary of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Ken Robinson; and Kennedy Iyere, National Coordinator of Power-shift Movement and Forty Million Ballots (a youth-based initiative).
Akeredolu, who said those pushing against power rotation in the country are tinkering with the existence of Nigeria, even as he affirmed belief in one fair and equitable Nigeria.
He said: “In about two or three meetings, we have come out and declared that power must move to the South. Only a party that is determined to lose will field a northern candidate. You are now a movement of members of political parties coming together. What we stand for is fair and equitable power rotation. The only thing fair is that after eight years in the North, it should come to the south.
“Some of us believe in one Nigeria that’s fair and equitable. We have a reason for it and it can be defended. Some people have argued that the presidency should be based on competence. Are they saying there are no competent ones in the South?
“My fellow governors from the South, all of us are determined. Whosoever we pick, as long as it is from the South, we will support him. We are saying the president must come from the South. There are people who merit it in the South-South, South East and South West.”
Earlier, Bitrus explained to the governor that the movement is passionate about power rotation to the South.
He said: “We are passionate believers that power should rotate in this country and should move from the North to the South. We launched the 40 Million-Ballots Movement. That’s the sensitisation of the youth. We launched it for our youth to key in.
“Leaders in the South and Middle Belt met in Abuja and agreed that power should rotate to the South, that the Middle Belt and the South should move against any party that fields any candidate outside the Southern part of the country.”