The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum (SMBLF) has promised not to support any political party that fields a northerner as its presidential candidate.
Naija News reports that the forum added that it will not be backing any party that doesn’t zone its presidential ticket to the South or fails to present a Southern candidate.
In a communique issued after a meeting on Thursday in Abuja, the forum stated that some of the issues discussed include the security situation in the country, restructuring, preparations for the 2023 elections and zoning.
SMBLF reiterated its earlier call that the 1999 constitution is flawed and a new constitution be drafted before the 2023 general elections. The forum added that the country needs to be restructured to solve the various challenges facing the country.
Leaders present at the meeting are Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo; Ohanaeze Ndigbo President-General, Prof George Obiozor; PANDEF leader, Chief Edwin Clark and Middle Belt Forum National President, Dr. Pogu Bitrus.
The communique reads:: “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.
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 described the continued killings of innocent citizens in the North West Zone and across the country as senseless, asking the military to redouble efforts in keeping the lives and property of Nigerians safe.
SMBLF also advised the National Assembly to make laws that would promote equity, justice, peace and national cohesion instead of controversial laws that will cause tension in the country.