As various political blocks jostle for relevance ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Nigeria Equity Group (NEG), has disclosed that it is working towards a consensus deal that will throw up a Christian from the South as the next president of the country.
The group said that having been under the rule of a northern Moslem since 2015, it would only be fair and just that a qualified Christian from the south emerges as president in 2023. Convener of NEG, Emeka Nwosu, said the group’s advocacy was borne out of historical precedents in the polity since 1999.
Nwosu recalled that when former President Olusegun Obasanjo completed his tenure, he handed over to Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’ adua, a Northern Moslem. Similarly, he said, after the unfortunate death of Yar’adua, Goodluck Jonathan, a Southern Christian took over as President and later handed power over to President Muhammadu Buhari, another Moslem from the North. Addressing a new conference in Abuja yesterday, Nwosu argued that this rotational arrangement should be encouraged in the forthcoming dispensation as it has helped in dousing tension and mutual distrust in the country.
“The position of our organization is that for the sake of equity and fairness the next president of our country should be a Christian. We believe that the template that the country has adopted since 1999 with the return of democratic rule in which the position of president rotates between the two major faiths of Christianity and Islam, and between the two main regions of North and South is ideal,” he said. Nwosu who addressed journalists alongside the Secretary of the group, Alhaji Mubarak Mohammed, said NEG was poised to lob-by various interest groups and individuals who have started preparing for the next general election to embrace the principles of democratic inclusiveness and fairness as a means restoring peace, stability and unity in the country.
“We believe that it is essential that after the tenure of President Buhari, the next president should be a Southern Christian, in order for us to maintain this balance and not to further aggravate the ethno-religious issues that have bedeviled our country lately. We need to heal and not rupture further. “We have observed that in the last six years, Nigeria has faced a high and intolerable level of disunity as inter and intra-ethnic crises have increased ten-fold. “If we do not carefully and wisely manage the journey towards 2023, the visible cracks of our country would get worse, and Nigeria may not survive the next round of crises that would emerge as a result,” he said. Nwosu warned that NEG will mobilize patriotic and fair-minded Nigerians against any political party that goes against this template and chooses to give its presidential ticket to another northern Moslem presidential candidate after Buhari’s eight-year tenure.