The proposal by some northern governors from the ruling All-Progressives Congress (APC) to zone the presidency to the south has drawn the ire of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF).
AYCF said the decision of the governors was undemocratic as it is the prerogative of voters to decide whether to vote for a northerner or a southerner.
“We have been following with keen interest the open disdain for the ethics of democracy by 11 Northern Governors (of APC) who, willy-nilly traded off our region’s right to participatory democracy by taking a stance on direct power shift to the south,” the forum said in a statement signed by Yerima Shettima, AYCF national president.
“We are deeply disturbed that in addition to their failure to save the north from massive poverty, insurgency, banditry and kidnapping, they are turning around to deny us the right to freely choose where our people want the next president to come from.
“It is undemocratic to zone Nigeria’s presidency to the south in 2023 because it is the prerogative of voters to decide which candidate they would like to vote for, whether a northerner or a southerner.”
The forum said the action of the governors amounts to imposition as they did not make efforts to consult their people in the region “before their wholesale endorsement of the declaration for a southern presidential candidate”.
“An important pillar of democracy, which is consultation with the masses, is out of the question because our governors would rather pretend that their wish is supreme,” the group said.
“It is now abundantly clear to innocent northern voters that their mind is being conditioned to accept a purely selfish and shameful political agenda of relinquishing power on a platter of gold like the military was doing in the past.
“The forum is deeply worried that the dream of having new faces at the helms of affairs of our democratic institutions has now been deliberately killed by self-serving governors of the north.
“The real agenda of the governors is to deliberately blackmail Buhari into doing their bidding.”
The forum asked President Muhammadu Buhari not to succumb to the “governors’ cheap blackmail of selling out our people’s right to vote the real candidate of their choice – whether a northerner or not”.
It also called on northerners to “reject this wholesale disenfranchisement of innocent northern voters in broad daylight, by the governors”.
Recall that norther governors on Saturday declared support for a power shift to the south and called on APC presidential hopefuls of northern extraction to step down.