Civil Society Organisations under the auspices of Coalition of Civil Society Groups (CCSG) on Monday, called on the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) and the leading opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to zone presidency to the southern part of the country in 2023.
This is contained in two separate letters addressed to the National Chairmen of the APC and PDP, which were signed by President, CCSG, Bassey Etuk Williams, and Secretary General, CCGS, Abubakar Ibrahim respectively and submitted to the two political parties’ chairmen at their national headquarters in Abuja.
The Groups also extended the same call to other accredited political parties in the country to zone their presidential tickets to the South in the 2023 general election.
According to the group they are the umbrella body of CSOs in Nigeria, and are out to work towards promoting interventions intended to uplift and sustain democracy, good governance and national unity. The Coalition does these through advocacy, sensitisation and lobbying.
The letter reads in part, “This letter is one of those efforts aimed at lobbying for a southern president in the forthcoming 2023 presidential election. This, in our opinion will guarantee sustainable peace, national unity and strengthen our democracy.
“Chairman Sir, the Coalition in our last expanded executive meeting, considered the current political situationin the country and the need for the Nation’s unity not to be threatened because of 2023 elections, hence our resolve to get involved and save the country from a possible instability and crises.
“By this patriotic call, we do not intend to undermine your right as a political party or your party’s constitution. We respect the wishes and aspiration of your party and the citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; however, we are persuaded by the state of the nation as it concerns the unity and stability of our dear country.
“At this point in our political history, we deem it a worthy sacrifice and a patriotic display of love for the country if political parties can jettison all other interests and ambition for the peace, unity and stability of our democracy. It is important to note that we all desire a safe society, peaceful atmosphere and harmonious relationship for development and growth of the nation.
“Sir, it is important to note that, since inception of civil rule in 1999 the country has witnessed zoning arrangement or rotational Presidency between north and south just to keep the polity stable. There is no doubt that we are one united country and have the same sense of compromise.
“This call becomes necessary and obligatory for us as a nation to move forward. It is also sacrosanct for fairness sake and for continuous unity of the country. We are convinced that power should naturally rotate between the North and Southern region of the country. We also believe that it is by avowed commitment to this arrangement that we can stop the current ethno-religious division being experienced in the country.”
The letter further reads, “Our visit today is to lend our voice in support of the call for power shift to the southern part of Nigeria; we hereby urge the great men and women of the PDP to heed to this patriotic call. The PDP no doubt has a great role to play in ensuring that we remain one united and indivisible nation before and after 2023 elections.
“It is on the strength of the above that we march here today in our thousands to submit our position on the imperatives of a presidential candidate of southern Nigeria extraction come 2023.
Meanwhile, the letter for the PDP was presented to the National Organising Secretary, PDP, Umar Bature, who assured that the letter would be presented to the leadership of the party, while at the APC national secretariat, one of the Directors received the letter from the group.