The pan-Northern socio-political organisation, Arewa Consultative Forum, on Wednesday, came hard on Ondo State Governor and Chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), for declaring that any political party that fields northern candidate in the 2023 presidential election will lose.
The northern group argued that the governor being a legal luminary, should know better when it comes to electing anybody to occupy the nation’s coveted seat.
The group warned Akeredolu to desist from issuing threats, noting that intimidation can’t get the South, presidency next year.
The PUNCH had reported the governor while receiving on a courtesy visit, members of a group, Power Rotation Movement, led by the Chairman, Pogu Bitrus, who also doubles as the Chairman, Middle Belt Forum, said the 17 governors in the Southern part of the country under the auspices of the Southern Governors’ Forum are determined to ensure that the next President comes from the south.
However, the ACF through its National Publicity Secretary, Emmanuel Yawe, drew the attention of the governor to constitutional provisions for electing the presidential candidate of any political party in the country as president.
The ACF spokesman in an interview with The PUNCH in Kaduna, said, “Governor Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) should know that presidential candidate needs votes from 24 states and not 17 (south) and 19 (north) to win the seat. That is what the Constitution says.
“As a very senior lawyer, Governor Akeredolu should know the provisions of the constitution. It is therefore not possible for a group of states to come together and say we ‘must’ produce the president. Anybody eying that seat must traverse the country, north and south to meet the demands of the Constitution.”
Also, a former Secretary General of the ACF, Anthony Sani, reminded the governor to note that no zone could produce the nation’s presidency on its own.
Sani noted that for that reason, regions or zones, must to produce the president and further the unity of the nation.
The former scribe while speaking to our correspondent in Kaduna on Wednesday, maintained that threats and intimidation were not part of democratic ethos that produce president
He said, “I hope those who claim fielding a northerner or southerner as presidential candidate for 2023 are aware of the import of the provisions in the constitution that before one emergences as president he must meet two important requirements, to wit, of the majority votes and spread in garnering at least 25% of the votes in each of at least two thirds put currently at 24 states.
“Since none of the regions has 24 states, it means non can produce the president with its own votes alone.
“The regions must meet in order to produce the president and further the unity of the nation. So, any political parties and candidates are expected to use their campaigns to enable their victory in the elections instead of resort to threats and intimidation that are not part of democratic ethos to produce the president.”