Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, has applauded President Muhammadu Buhari as well as the Northern APC Governors and political leaders for their support for the rotation of the presidency to the South in 2023. The decision of the APC Northern leaders to back the emergence of a presidential candidate of the party from the Southern part of the country for the 2023 election is a welcome development and a great relief for all well-meaning Nigerians.
PANDEF completely agrees with the extrapolations of the APC governors and political leaders from the Northern states of Nigeria, after their meeting yesterday; that after eight years in the office of President Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate of the APC for the 2023 elections should come from the southern states of Nigeria, “in the interest of building a stronger, more united and more progressive country”. This is in tandem with the long-held standpoint of the Southern and Middle Belt Forum (SMBLF) and deserves commendation.
Just when the nation’s future and political fortunes were looking dimmest, with all sorts of appalling shenanigans, the President and the Northern APC Governors provided a glimmer of hope, indicating that there are still political leaders, in all parts of Nigeria, who are true patriots and statesmen; who cherish the “oneness” of Nigeria beyond parochial, political reparations. And, despite certain reservations, this decision has occasioned a level of optimism that all hope is not yet lost for the country.
And by this development, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has not only ingratiated itself with the people of Southern Nigeria, the Middle Belt and indeed, all true lovers of democracy, equity, fairness and justice, but has also demonstrated that it is a truly “national” political party that is committed to the unity, peace and progress of Nigeria.
PANDEF further applauds the courage and patriotism of Governor Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State, for heeding the nationalistic advice of his colleagues and withdrawing his presidential aspiration. We call on all other Northern presidential aspirants under the APC and other parties, to withdraw likewise, in the national interest.
PANDEF further restates the call by the Southern and Middle Belt Forum (SMBLF) on the people of Southern Nigeria and the Middle Belt region to, as a sacred obligation to the nation, NOT VOTE for any political party that does not present a southern candidate in the 2023 presidential election.
PANDEF emphasizes that the nation cannot afford to fritter the labours of our heroes, past and present, by allowing self-seeking politicians to, callously and carelessly, jettison arrangements and understandings that have sustained the oneness and stability of the country over the years.
Hon. Ken Robinson
National Publicity Secretary
Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF