The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYFC) has faulted the Ohanaeze Ndigbo for endorsing a “contraption called rotational presidency” which cannot be found anywhere in the nation’s constitution.
The AYCF was reacting to a press conference by Ohanaeze rejecting the position of Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, that rotational presidency cannot be found anywhere in the Nigeria’s constitution, urging the nation’s stakeholders to stick to “merit” of any presidential candidate as against ethno-regional or religious leanings.
In a press release signed by the national president AYCF, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, the group said both the Northern leaders and youths of the region have come a long way and therefore “cannot be intimidated by anyone or stampeded into sheepishly supporting a regional candidate for the nation’s 2023 presidency.”
The AYFC described as laughable the claim by Ohanaeze that Governor Bello was still a student when Nigerians like the late Dr. Abubakar Rimi, Solomon Lar and others advised that power rotation should be adopted.
“Is it not a shame that Ohanaeze is canvassing for a mere 23-year old advice not backed by any law known to party politics while questioning the young governor’s legitimate advice for full democratic process of majority having their way?,” it queried.
It added that Ohanaeze’s argument that former President Goodluck Jonathan also enjoyed the presidency due to the rotation principle was not enough reason because it was not even the turn of Jonathan’s South-south region to produce president at that point in time.
On Ohaneaze’s emphasis that “morality” is ahead of constitutionality, the AYCF said the Ndigbo group has goofed, saying nowhere in a democratic system does moral consideration supercede the constitution.
AYCF also reacted to Ohanaeze’s claim that the recent meeting of Southern Governors Forum already endorsed power rotation to South in 2023, saying “that does give Ohanaeze the licence to ignore simple democratic processes”.
“We, in the AYCF wish to remind Ohanaeze that, the North cannot be intimidated ever again, because we’re now more politically-conscious of our democratic rights and freedom and fully prepared to legitimately assert ourselves.
“As for those threatening that they would pull out of Nigeria if the next President do not come from the South, it’s nonsensical because they don’t need to advertise that they’re leaving, when there are provisions of the constitution that gives them simple legal means of breaking away. These empty threats won’t force the North to abandon democratic means of producing Nigerian leaders.
“And we dare any political party in this country to try zoning the 2023 presidency to any ethnic group or region; or try to abandon the democratic process of producing elected leaders for the Nigerian democratic space,” the AYCF warned.