The southern governors have praised their northern counterparts for agreeing to a power shift to the south in 2023.
The northern governors had earlier released a statement calling on northern presidential hopefuls to withdraw from the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential race.
They also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to look toward the southern presidential hopefuls when considering his successor.
Reacting to the gesture, the southern governors described their northern colleagues as “great patriots”.
Rotimi Akeredolu, Ondo state governor and chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum, said the news of the development was received with “utmost joy”.
“We did not expect anything short of this heart-warming decision from our colleagues, great patriots and reliable partners in the collaborative efforts geared towards the attainment of nationhood for our dear country,” he said in a statement issued on behalf of the southern governors.
“This is indeed another landmark achievement in our quest for understanding, rapprochement and continual engagements for mutual beneficence,” the statement reads.
“We acknowledge this courageous stance for equity and moral rectitude. We applaud the zeal and determination of our brothers to engage realistically and honestly. We salute this uncommon resolve to confront issues militating against the march towards nationhood and ultimate greatness.
“By this gesture, we are convinced of the seriousness of our colleagues to join other patriots in ensuring that the ascendant march towards stability, progress and prosperity is not truncated by indiscretion.
“We congratulate our brother Governor, Abubakar Badaru, for his exemplary conduct. Posterity will remember him for good. We thank the leadership of the Northern Governors’ Forum for the patriotic zest displayed at this crucial moment.
“We look forward to conducting a hitch-free convention which will culminate in the election of a suitable candidate who will hoist the flag of the party with a sense of mission.”