A coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs) has warned against former President Goodluck Jonathan, All Progressives Congress (APC) leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, amongst others joining the 2023 presidential race.
Members of the coalition, including the Society for Civic Education and Gender Equity (SOCEGE); thePeoples Alliance for Indigenous Rights (PAIR), and Committee for Advancement of Good Governance (CAGG), in a statement, Monday in Abuja, said in the spirit of equity, unity and fairness, it was only expedient that the two major political parties: APC and PDP, do not even consider any aspirant from the North West, South West and South South.
The statement signed by SOCEGE Coordinator, North, Muhammed Idris, read in part: “Since the return of the democratic dispensation in 1999, after years of military rule, the South West tookoff with President Olusegun Obasanjo, who stayed in office for two consecutive terms and handed over to President Umaru Musa Yaradua from the North West, whose death after two years in office led to the swearing-in of his vice, Goodluckn Jonathan, from the South South as President.
“Muhammadu Buhari from the North-West became president in 2015, expectedly to complete the term of the late Yar’Adua but was elected for a second term in 2019. It is worth noting that the North Central, the South East, and the North East have not had the opportunity to produce the president of this great nation.
“To this end, we call on former President Goodluck Jonathan, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Governor Aminu Tambuwal and all those from the aforementioned three geopolitical zones to perish any thought of joining the 2023 presidential race.
“While we concede that it is within their democratic right to vie for the Presidency, they should weigh the greater good other than their personal desire to be president.”
According to Idris, in recent memory, the North Central and South East were yet to occupy the Office of President and Vice-President and it would only assuage feelings of marginalisation if they were allowed a shot at the presidency.
He further explained that the North Central, North East, and South East have in abundance qualified and eminent individuals to run and occupy the Office of President, stressing that it would do well for the other zones to take this into cognizance.
He further noted that at a time when the country is polarised on several line and peaceful coexistence of Nigerians is already threatened ensuring the president emerges from the three region that have not held the position for the first time will douse tension and give the people the much needed sense of belonging.
“Nigerian as a nation ismore important and greater than the interest of any individual or group of individuals, hence any attempt to truncate the existing peace in the country and overheat the polity by unpatriotic and self seeking elements would be resisted within the ambit of the law,” the coalition warned.