BusinessDay

2023: I’m in support of change of presidency from North to South – Obasanjo

...says Middle Belt, minority groups must always advocate rotational presidency

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that he was in support of rotational presidency; from the North to the South as being requested by the majority of Nigerians, asking the Middle Belt zones and minority groups in the country to always advocate for rotational presidency.

Obasanjo’s statement on the change of leadership for Nigeria from the North to the South is coming less than 24 hours that former President Obasanjo held a closed-door meeting with Ifeanyi Okowa, vice presidential candidate; Aminu Tambuwal, the director-general of the Presidential Campaign Council of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other PDP bigwigs in Abeokuta.

BusinessDay recalls that five governors in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), namely, Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, Ifeanyi Ugwanyi of Enugu State and Samuel Ortom of Benue State have publicly gone against their party’s decision to have the presidency back to the North and adoption of Atiku Abubakar from the North as next president after Muhammadu Buhari, who is also from the Northern Region and about to conclude his 8-year tenure though on another party platform, – the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Speaking in Abeokuta when the Apex Socio-Cultural Group in Tiv Land of Benue State – Mzough U Tiv (MUT)-.paid him an appreciation visit on Sunday, Obasanjo said he was in support for the change of the leadership of the country from the North to the South, while the Middle-Belt Region should continue to advocate for rotational presidency for the country.

According to the press statement signed and issued by Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo’s Media Aide, the former president said: “If Nigeria is ready to get it right, the 2023 election should be a turning point. We should not go for emotion that will destroy us.”

Obasanjo, who was conferred with the title of a Great Warrior of Tiv Land by the socio-political group, also noted that with the growing population of the country at a geometrical rate, the oil and gas sector can no longer feed the nation, but agriculture and agribusiness can.

Read also: We’re preparing for more Boko Haram with 20m out of school children – Obasanjo

The former president, who was quoted, was responding to the President-General of Mzough U Tiv, Iorbee Ihagh, saying, “Only farming and agribusiness could tackle the nation’s growing population. Farming and agribusiness is what will feed the nation.”

He however, called on the Tiv people to focus on farming and agribusinesses that he had put the experience of having his farm burnt in Benue State behind him just as he hinted of having an industry to be established in the state next year.

Earlier, Iorbee Ihagh, the president-general of Mzough U Tiv, had said that the reason for the Group’s friendship visit “is basically to interface with you as our former Head of State, a political pillar, a nationalist and elder statesman to appreciate your overwhelming love, passion and concern you have demonstrated over the Tiv people,” stressing that it was also historic.

He listed three prayers for former president’s consideration, including the need for the establishment of a fruit juice industry in Benue State and inclusive national politics.

Also, was the issue of Fulani herders attack on TIV land and position on the Nigerian power-sharing formula.

“With regards to the current power equation in the country, we in the Mzough u Tiv in conjunction with the Middle Belt Forum had unanimously resolved for power shift from the North to the South for fairness, justice and a true federalism.

“We want to call on your Excellency and other well meaning Nigerians to strictly adhere to the principle of rotation and distributive justice. If this is enforced, the Middle Belt would also be assured of producing the next president come year 2031,” Ihagh said.