CHAIRMAN of the Southern Governor’s Forum and Ondo State governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has commended the governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Northern party of the country for ceding the presidency to the South.
The northern governors conveyed the position to President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House on Saturday night.
Consequently, the only serving northern governor seeking to succeed the president on the party’s platform, Governor Abubakar Badaru of Kebbi State, stepped down.
A statement issued by the Northern governors said: “We, therefore, wish to strongly recommend to President Muhammad Buhari that the search for his successor as the APC presidential candidate be limited to our compatriots from the Southern states.
“We appeal to all aspirants from the Northern states to withdraw in the national interest and allow only the aspirants from the South to proceed to the primaries. We are delighted by the decision of our esteemed colleague His Excellency Gov Abubakar Badru to contribute to this patriotic quest by withdrawing his presidential aspiration.”
Reacting to the development, Akeredolu said the South received the position with “utmost joy”.
He said the region did not expect anything short of the ‘heart-warming’ decision.
He described the Northern governors as great patriots and reliable partners in the collaborative efforts geared towards attaining nationhood for the country.
“This is indeed another landmark achievement in our quest for understanding, rapprochement and continual engagements for mutual beneficence.
“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.”
He commended Badaru for his ‘exemplary’ conduct, adding that posterity would remember him for good.
He also appreciated the leadership of the Northern Governors’ Forum “for the patriotic zest displayed at this crucial moment.”
Similarly, a legal luminary and senior advocate of Nigeria, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, lauded the APC Northern Governors Forum.
In a statement he titled “APC on the Path of History,” Adegboruwa said he received the governors’ decision with joy and enthusiasm.
According to him, that was the path to tread by the party.
He said Section 14(3) of the nation’s constitution stipulated equal distribution of power amongst all the sections of the country.
Being the party in power, the decision of APC governors has rekindled the quest for unity amongst the contending forces in Nigeria, he noted.
He, however, slammed the main opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), which he said was “enmeshed in a dance of death by going against its own constitution on power rotation”.
He appealed to the APC to conduct a transparent primary and ensure its party members vote for its candidate in the next year’s presidential election.
Meanwhile, as of the time of filing this report, the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, a northern aspirant for the president, is yet to step down.