A group, CONCERNED PAN-AFRICANISTS FORUM, has given reasons why Nigeria, as a Nation may further destabilize if political matters are not urgently addressed before the upcoming transition through her 2023 presidential election.
The Forum, in a statement jointly signed and made available to Journalists in Awka, Anambra State, on Sunday, by the following members; Dr. Emmanuel C. Obiano (Nigeria), Segun Afolabi (Nigeria), Muktar Danjuma (Nigeria), Natsugah Jack Kwesi (Ghana), Michael Ater Ntow (Ghana), Ousmane J. S. Toure (Mali) and Jamil K. Abushiri (Tanzania), pointed out the reasons to include; any truncation of the already slated presidential election of February 25th, 2023, another President from the “North” geo-political zone of the country taking over from the current incumbent from the same “North” (President Muhammadu Buhari) and a “same-faith” Presidency, whether Christian-Christian or Muslim-Muslim President and Vice President.
According to the group, in view of the foregoing, “we solemnly advise the Federal Government of Nigeria to ensure that the 2023 general elections hold as slated, with uncompromised credibility. All security threats to the General Elections should be eliminated.
“We enjoin all Nigerians, development partners, and other election stakeholders to participate proactively and render maximum support to secure credibility for Nigeria’s 2023 General Elections. We align with the collective decision of Nigeria’s patriots, Statesmen, and founding democrats of Nigeria’s Fourth Republic that power should rotate between the North and South geo-political zones of Nigeria in order to unite the country.
“We plead with all presidential candidates of Northern extraction to respect this noble agreement on North-South power rotation and voluntarily withdraw from the presidential election as a sacrifice to their country. We align with the pragmatic precedent of religious balancing already established in the country’s political affairs, especially the religious balancing between Christians and Muslims.
“We, therefore plead with all Presidential Candidates in the February 2023 presidential election running on same-faith tickets, whether Christian-Christian ticket or Muslim-Muslim ticket, to voluntarily withdraw from the presidential election as a sacrifice to their country.
“We may also need to point out that the voluntary withdrawal from the presidential election of February 2023 is not a loss to the candidates but a gain. Such withdrawal will be a feat that will remain in the annals of history of Nigeria’s statehood, as well as secure global recognition for the candidates with all its appearances. Moreover, such withdrawing candidates will be accommodated in forming the incoming government, which is better than contesting and loosing the election.
“We seize this opportunity to advise election winners in Nigeria to embrace the progressive practice of forming government from across political parties. This will immensely benefit Nigeria’s political development.
“It is for good reason that should be fully harnessed, that many key players in Nigeria’s early statehood are still alive. We appreciate the concern of former President Olusegun Obasanjo towards safeguarding Nigeria’s unity, not only in words but in deeds also. We call on ex-President Obasanjo and all ex-Presidents and Heads of State of Nigeria (Rtd. General Yakubu Gowan; Rtd. General Ibrahim Babangida; Rtd. General Abdulsalam Abubakar; and ex-President Goodluck Jonathan) to convene a special meeting with the incumbent President and other key religious and socio-cultural leaders to deliberate and remove all roadblocks and landmines ahead of Nigeria’s march to greatness.
“A new Nigeria is possible. The year 2023 is a critical turning-point for Nigeria. We enjoin Nigerians and friends of Nigeria to use the general elections of 2023 to overthrow the old order of corruption and retardation and recreate a new and prosperous country, the statement end.”