Former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, has said that he is in favour of rotating the presidency from the North to the South, as has been demanded by the majority of Nigerians.
He has urged the Middle Belt regions and the nation’s minority communities to consistently support this idea.
This was said when Olusegun Obasanjo met in private in Abeokuta with vice presidential candidate Ifeanyi Okowa, Aminu Tambuwal, the director-general of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and other PDP bigwigs in less than 24 hours, to discuss the transition of power in Nigeria from the North to the South.
PDP Governors oppose a Northern President
Previously, 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, publicly disagreed with their party’s choice to return the presidency to the North and to elect Atiku Abubakar from the North as the next president after All Progressive 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 the Middle-Belt Region should keep pushing for a rotating presidency for the nation while he supported the change of the country’s leadership from the North to the South.
The former president, as quoted in a signed and released news by his media assistant Kehinde Akinyemi, 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.”
Farming the best way to combat the growing population
The socio-political group gave Olusegun Obasanjo the honorary title of a Great Warrior of Tiv Land. He also remarked that with the country’s population expanding at a geometrical pace, the oil and gas industry can no longer feed the country, but agriculture and agribusiness can.
The previous president, who was quoted, was reacting to Mzough U Tiv’s President-General, Iorbee Ihagh, who said, “Only farming and agribusiness could tackle the nation’s growing population. Farming and agribusiness is what will feed the nation.”
However, he urged the Tiv people to concentrate on agriculture and agribusinesses, saying that he had put his experience of having his farm destroyed in Benue State behind him and that an industry will likely be built in the state the next year.
The reason for the Group’s friendship visit, according to Mzough U Tiv’s president-general Iorbee Ihagh, was “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.
The necessity for the development of a fruit juice sector in Benue State and for inclusive national politics were two of the three requests he put for the former president’s consideration.
Attack on the TIV land
There was also the matter of the attack on TIV land by Fulani herdsmen and their stance on the country’s power-sharing structure.
“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.
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