South’s insistence on power shift unconstitutional, say northern governors
The North-South gulf is widening on daily basis with seed of antagonisms being planted and nurtured at the expense of the much desired unity
Specifically, the northern governors’ forum says the position of their southern counterparts, that the next president must come from the south, contradicts the provisions of the constitution.
The forum stated its position on Monday, after a meeting held in Kaduna.
Southern governors have repeatedly insisted that power must shift to their region.
At separate meetings held on July 5 — in Lagos — and September 16 — in Enugu — the southern governors said the next presidency should be zoned to their region.
However, in a communique signed by Simon Lalong, governor of Plateau and chairman of the northern governors’ forum, the governors said the position of their colleagues in the south is “condemnable”.
“The Forum observed that some Northern State Governors had earlier expressed views for a power-shift to three geopolitical zones in the South with a view to promoting unity and peace in the nation. Notwithstanding their comments, the Forum unanimously condemns the statement by the Southern Governors Forum that the Presidency must go to the South,” the communique reads.
“The statement is quite contradictory with the provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) as amended, that the elected President shall: score the majority votes; score at least 25% of the votes cast in 2/3 States of the Federation. In the case of run-up, simple majority wins the election.”
The northern governors commended security agencies for their efforts in the region, adding that there is a need to sustain collaborations between the federal government and northern states for improved security.
“The Forum reviewed security updates from the Region and observed the need for sustained synergy and coordinated efforts between the Federal and Northern State Governments, while noting success of recent measures,” Lalong said.
“The Forum appreciated the ongoing onslaught against banditry, kidnapping and Boko Haram, especially in the North East and parts of North West and North Central States, and encouraged the Armed forces and other security agencies to sustain the tempo to enable the security challenges be permanently addressed in the shortest time.”
However, the regional positioning, according to analysts will further heat up the polity even among and between members of a region.