As the 2023 general elections draws closer, The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum (SMBLF) has advised political parties in the country to zone its presidential ticket to the south.
This advice was given through a communique issued after a meeting on Thursday in Abuja, with the forum warning any party that does not zone its ticket to the south should not expect support from the regions.
The communique which was jointly signed by Edwin Clark, an Ijaw national leader; Ayo Adebanjo, Afenifere leader, George Obiozor, president-general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and Pogu Bitrus, national president, middle belt forum called on leaders of various party to zone thier ticket to the south.
Similarly, the forum also added that the 1999 constitution is flawed and lopsided and therefore, the country should be restructured and a new constitution drafted
“The meeting extensively discussed various issues on the state of affairs in the country, particularly, the security situation, restructuring, preparations for the 2023 elections and zoning,” the communique reads.
“That the extant Constitution and Structure of Nigeria are grossly flawed and lopsided. Accordingly, Forum restates its demand for the fundamental restructuring of the country by enacting a new Constitution that would enthrone equity, fairness and justice. It must be One Nation, One System.
“Cites that the northern part of the country would have fully enjoyed the Office of the Presidency of the country for the full statutory period of 8 years by 2023, hence, the presidency should rotate to the South; Therefore, unequivocally, and in full resolve, call on all political parties in the country to zone their presidential tickets to the south
“Advices that any political party that does not zone its presidential ticket to the South should not expect support from the four regions;
“Notes that the basis of any viable democracy, especially in a diverse and complex country such as Nigeria, is fair and even sharing of power.”
The forum also condemned the “senseless killings of innocent citizens” across the country, especially in the north-west.
While calling on the government and security agencies to redouble efforts on improving security, the forum urged the national assembly and governors to commit themselves to restructuring and reaffirm their commitment to Nigeria’s unity “situated on the tenets of equity, fairness, justice, and the principle of federalism”.