SMBLF: “Any attempt to kill power rotation agreement is tantamount to attempt to kill and bury Nigeria.”


The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) has warned that any attempt to kill and bury the age-long power rotation agreement between the north and south is tantamount to an attempt to kill and bury Nigeria.
The group said that the move to tinker with the rotation of the presidency is inimical to national unity.
This was contained in a joint statement by the National Leader, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), and Chairman, SMBLF, Chief Edwin Clark; leader of Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo; President-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Professor George Obiozor; and National President, Middle Belt Forum (MBF), Pogu Bitrus.
SMBLF, also warned Abdullahi’s NEF, and wondered if the northern body was now out to dissolve the country.
The group condemned a statement credited to the chairman of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Prof. Ango Abdullahi, that rotation of the presidency between the north and south was “dead and buried”.
SMBLF maintained that another eight years of northern presidency, after President Muhammadu Buhari, was unacceptable.
The group said it is prepared for those attempting to upturn a practice – zoning – that had sustained the country.
SMBLF described Abdullahi’s comments as unfortunate and absurd asking whether the north is now ready to dissolve the country.
“What has happened that zoning, which has been a sine qua non in the nation’s political progression, has now become a ‘dead and buried’ issue, in the irrational contemplations of Ango Abdullahi and his co-travellers?
“Could it be due to the incapacity, insipidity and disastrous performance of the Buhari administration or the narcissistic desire to perpetuate Hausa/Fulani hegemony?”, the group asked.
It noted that, “It has become necessary to underscore that Ango Abdullahi, with his established disposition of inconsistency and duplicity, is one of the people disturbing the polity and peace of Nigeria.
“A few days ago, this same Ango fumbled with the idea of a so-called consensus arrangement for northern presidential aspirants, he has not come out of it. Now he has sprung up with this reckless statement that zoning is dead and buried.
“Ango and his northern elders do not have the power to kill and bury zoning. If they want to kill and bury Nigeria, then we are ready for them.”
, recalled that all the ruling political parties from the Second Republic, such as the now defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN) and the current opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had adhered to the principle of zoning.
The group also accused the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Adamu Abdullahi, of outright dishonesty and chicanery for saying APC had not decided the zoning of the presidency.
According to SMBLF, “More so, earlier this year, the nation and global audience were told by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State on a national/satellite television station, Channels Television, that zoning of the party and political elective offices exists in the APC.
“The governor further hinted that all the positions earlier held by the north would be swapped with the south and vice versa. And this was inclusive of the presidency. “That was the reason why only northerners vied for the national chairmanship of the party, which was zoned to the north and micro-zoned to the North-central, during the party’s national convention in March this year.
“Sadly, we are now being told by the newly ‘imposed’ national chairman of the APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, that the APC has not decided on the zoning of the presidency. Such a statement at this stage, with about 30 days to the presidential primaries, amounts to outright dishonesty and chicanery. Who are they trying to deceive and who will allow them?
“It becomes even more upsetting given the fact that the statement came from someone who himself emerged as National Chairman of the APC through the policy of rotation and zoning.”


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