Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) says the unity of the country can only be sustained on the principles of equity, fairness and Justice.
To this end, it called for power shift to the South after the North’s turn ended in 2023.
The meeting was attended by top leaders which included Chief E. K. Clark, Chief Ayo Adebanjo – Leader, Afenifere, Amb. Prof George Obiozor – President General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide and Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, National Chairman PANDEF.
SMBLF in a communique issued at the end of the expanded meeting on Sunday in Abuja, urged key political to zone their presidential slot to the South.
“Reminds all leading political parties, especially the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and other political parties, that the basis of any viable democracy, especially in a diverse and complex country such as Nigeria, rests in fair and even sharing of power;
“Notes that the Northern part of the Country would have fully enjoyed the Office of the Presidency, for the full statutory period of 8 years by 2023, hence, should yield to the South;
“Enjoins political stakeholders from the South not to be lured into the unpatriotic step of seeking such other positions as National Chairmen and Vice President of the main political parties, but join forces to demand and ensure that the Presidency moves to the South in 2023,” the forum noted in a communique read by the National President, Middle Belt Forum, Dr. Pogu Bitrus.
The forum urged the federal government to convocate a national dialogue aimed at restructuring the country as variously canvassed by different geopolitical zones, “considering the precarious prevailing atmosphere before any further elections.”
It also called on the federal government to urgently come up with proactive strategies to restore peace and security to all parts of the country.
It warned that, if the security situation is not dealt with and banditry stopped or reduced to the barest minimum, it would not be feasible to have proper elections in 2023.