2023: Yoruba Group Urges South-west Politicians to Support South-east, South-south for President
Ahead of the 2023 general election and for justice, fairness and equity, the Yoruba Stakeholders’ Summit Group (YSSG) has appealed to politicians in the South-west region to support presidential candidates South-south and South-east regions.
Addressing a press conference yesterday in Lagos, conveners of the group, Mr. Olufemi Lawson and Oladosu Rasaq, said if the South-west supports other regions in southern Nigeria, justice, equity, fairness and unity will be enthroned in the country.
YSSG said: “We have observed with serious concern, the open and silent demand and declaration by some politicians in southwest, jostling to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari;in 2023. Not only did we find this insensitive, but it is also self-serving and unjust.
“Over the time, we have been at the forefront of the call for political parties in the country to have their presidential ticket zoned to the southern part of the country. We are also of the strong opinion, and conviction, that some part of the southern Nigeria deserves the presidency more than the southwest, for the sake of equity and justice and for that cause we are here gathered.
“We wish to use this medium to assert that it is not yet our turn as the people of the South-west, and to categorically demand that all major political parties should zone their presidential slot to the other geopolitical zones of the South, vis-a-vis the South-south, whose turn was short-lived under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan and the South-east, which has never had a shot at the presidency since the advent of the current republic. This remains an important way to ensure equity and fair play ahead of 2023 presidential election.
“For the purpose of reminder, in this fourth republic alone, our region have produced a President Olusegun Obasanjo for eight years, Hon Dimeji Bankole as Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives for over three years, just as the APC in 2015 graciously zoned its vice presidential ticket to the Southwest, a position presently occupied by Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
“Only in 2019, the nation’s fouth seat, that is, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, became occupied by another Yoruba man, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila. Then arises the question of our sense of equity and fairness, if some politicians assume that whatever political position is zoned to the southern Nigeria, must be taken by the Southwest. This impression needs to Stop.”
The group, therefore, appealed to politicians who are asking that zoning should be jettisoned, or that zoning should no longer be considered, to realise that they are trying to perpetuate injustice, which is against the unity of the country.
According to the Yoruba group, South-west has had a fair share in government the present fourth republic and as such, should allow others to produce the next president.
It said: “2023 is a crucial moment that will determine a lot, in the stability or otherwise, of our democracy. Nigerians should be given the opportunity to elect a leader, who can stabilise the polity and move the country forward from where the administration will handover in 2023. Ensure a peaceful polity will only be achievable, when we allow equity and Justice, in the distribution of power, between every component of the country.
“We wish to call on genuine democrats, among politicians of Yoruba extraction aspiring for the presidency come 2023, to throw their support behind candidates from the two other geopolitical zones of the south in the overall interest of a peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.”