The Concerned Igbo Stakeholders Forum, a pressure group, has faulted the Northern Elders Forum’s position that the North will hold on to power beyond 2023.
Chukwuma Okenwa, the spokesperson for the group, said this in a statement he signed in Enugu on Monday.
Okenwa described such position as very disappointing and an aspersion to the intelligence and patience of the people of the Southern part of the country.
According to him, such comments are capable of exacerbating the already fragile peace of the country.
“Thus, it might further fuel secessionist movements in the country,” he said.
Okenwa noted that in the spirit of equity and fairness, a president from the Southern part of the country, specifically the South East, should be a non-negotiable agenda in 2023.
“Southern Nigeria is more united than ever; and will vehemently resist any attempt to impose a Northern President on Nigerians come 2023,” he said.
Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, NEF spokesperson, had while delivering an address at the maiden Maitama Sule Leadership Lecture Series in Zaria, Kaduna State disclosed that the North was not ready to relinquish power in 2023.
Baba-Ahmed said: “The North is not for sale and Northerners will surprise those waiting for them to queue up in 2023 and be given money in exchange for their votes.
“Anyone who does not want a Northerner as President should leave the country if one emerges.
“We will lead Nigeria the way we have led Nigeria before, whether we are President or Vice President, we will lead Nigeria.
“We have the majority of the votes and the democracy says vote whom you want.
“Why should we accept second class position when we know we can buy form and contest for first class and we will win.”