By Solomon Odeniyi
A group, the National Christian Elders Forum, has said Nigeria’s next President should emerge from the South-East region, for equity and justice.
The forum argued that the emergence of a credible candidate from the South-East would put an end to the self-determination agitation across the country, according to a statement signed by its Chairman, Samuel Gani, and Secretary, Bosun Emmanuel.
The statement partly read, “We make bold to say that to complete and show good faith to the post-Civil War three Rs – rehabilitation, reconstruction, and reintegration and the no victor, no vanquished policies of the Federal Government, which are still
relevant, it is only right that the zone is allowed to produce the next President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“All the other zones have had representation at the Presidency and if there are to be no second-class citizens and if there are genuine desires to eliminate separatist agitations nationwide, then, a credible candidate from the geopolitical South-East zone should be voted into the seat.”
“The unfortunate statements credited to some presidential aspirants that they will lay the foundation for the presidency for the South-East, after their turn, is not only an insult to the general Nigerian electorate but a humiliating and derogatory attack akin to that of the religious clerics earlier noted which is detrimental to the overall peaceful co-existence and equity in the Nigerian project. We speak as Christian elders.”
The elders also expressed concern about the “damaging allegations” against some candidates contesting the 2023 elections, urging the electorate to pay attention to the responses of those candidates.
They added, “Certain damaging allegations affecting the credibility and suitability of some of our candidates for the forthcoming elections have been published in recent times. These allegations and accusations, if proven wrong and malicious, are outright defamatory and libelous.
“The only remedy will be in the civil courts. Mere verbal replies on the political platform will not suffice to clear the concerned persons.”
They also said the emergence of the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, was against the party’s constitution and advised him to step aside.
Source: The Punch