Southern govs should’ve consulted northern counterparts on 2023 – El-Rufai

Godwin Isenyo

30 September 2021

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KADUNA State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, said his colleagues in the North under the aegis of the Northern Governor’s Forum never opposed the presidency going to the South in 2023.

El-Rufai, however, noted that the regional governors were only against the language used in the resolution of the southern governors on the issue of power shift.

According to him, southern governors should have reached out to their northern counterparts on the issue of power shift instead of playing to the gallery.

In a communiqué read out to journalists by the chairman of the forum and governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, in the Monday’s emergency, the governors had said, “The Forum observed that some northern states governors had earlier expressed views for a power-shift to three geo-political zone in the South with a view to promoting unity and peace in the nation.

“Notwithstanding their comments, the forum unanimously condemned the statement by the Southern Governors’ Forum that the presidency must go to the South.

“The statement is quite contradictory with the provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) as amended, that the elected President shall:- score the majority votes; score at least 25% of the votes cast in 2/3 states of the federation. In the case of runoff, simple majority win the election.”

On Wednesday, El-Rufai, while clarifying the resolution of the governors, said northern governors were alarmed that their southern counterparts would use the word “must” in their agitation for power shift to the South after President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure in 2023.

El Rufai who made these clarifications in a media chat with select Kaduna-based broadcast journalists on Tuesday night, said that the media misrepresented the resolution of the Northern Governors’ Forum meeting which held on Monday, on power shift.

The governor, who spoke in Hausa, reminded that “the North has supported southern presidential aspirants in the past,” recalling that it “supported Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s aspiration in 1999 and his re-election in 2003”.

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