The Nigerian Unity Group has condemned the Southern Governors’ call in their communiqué issued today from Lagos State Government House, Ikeja, Lagos, as the most divisive and unfortunate position statement coming from elected leaders in recent times. One aspect of the Communique which was read by Olu Akeredolu, Governor of Ondo State which has continued to receive mixed reactions is their call for a Southern Governor in 2023 without stating the underpinning facts that supports such a call.
In a response Press Statement signed by Moses Achaba of the Nigerian Unity Coalition, the Southern Governors call has not proffered solution to the lingering leadership question in Nigeria but has further deepened the sectional divide that the nation is still struggling to get away from. ‘At a time when well meaning Nigerians are calling for a leader with capacity irrespective of region, the Southern Governors position has taken us back to the original contending issue of how to balance leadership. Because what Nigeria needs at this time, is a leader with national acceptability and not regional champions,
Simply put, the Southern Governors wants the nation to be fixated in the unfortunately unconstitutional notion of rotational presidency for political expediency sake. But a critical analysis of this notion is that it promotes incompetence and mediocrity in the governance process. The initial hopes that this skewed notion of rotational presidency was thought to bring have since evaporated seeing that the concept has not moved the nation one step closer to democratic light.
According to the Nigerian Unity Coalition, we must educate ourselves about the certain political development in order to accurately recommend them for national consideration. Because a careful study of the Southern Governors call for a southern President in 2023 is short on facts. The North and the South have had both Presidents and Vice Presidents in our return to democratic rule. So, the Governors ought to have looked at the geo-political arrangement in the country before venturing out with the regrettable statement they issued.
It is an open record that of the six geo-political regions in Nigeria, it is only the South-East and the North-Central that have not produced a President or Vice President since we embraced democracy. Thus, if the Southern Governors call for a President at all was based in addressing political equity and fairness at it claims, then the call should have been for a President from the South-East or North-Central.
The Southern Governors call should have been for a President with capacity and national appeal than angling for a sectional President and that’s what will resonate with discerning Nigerians. If we want a change in the leadership equation, the push should be for a candidate with sterling pedigree and national acceptance who has what it takes to resolve the security and human capacity to move the nation beyond sectionalism. Such a leader is what is needed to urgently unify the country.
The Nigerian Unity Coalition statement further advised that if the Southern Governors are truly committed to political fairness and equity, then they should be clamouring for a capable President from the geo-political regions that have not tasted the Presidency. Instead of strategizing on ploys that only whip up sentiments and further personal ambitions of lazy politicians who want to wrest power through sectional opportunism. Hence, the governors and indeed, all Nigerians should be calling for leadership that represents capacity and inspires a true national report on the principles of genuine equity for the regions that have not had either a President or Vice President since our return to participatory democracy, concluded the Statement.