A new twist have emerged ahead of the 2023 general elections with North Central Peoples Forum (NCPF) backing the Northern State Governors stand that the presidency should be left open for every region to contest.
According to the NCPF, Nigeria is facing a political crisis that needs a North Central person to stabilize the country just as former military head of states, Generals Yakubu Gowon, Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar did.
Speaking during a press conference in Abuja yesterday, the Publicity Secretary of the NCPF, Hon Audu Sule, said the region have been studying political situation in Nigeria adding that they are not sleeping but working to ensure they produce President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor in 2023.
“We are watching the present polity in Nigeria because we are always the saviour of the country when there is crisis. We are in the middle of Nigeria having borders with every part of the country including Cameroon and if there is no peace in the North Central region, Nigeria will not be at peace.
“Yes, North Central have had many head of states but we have not produced a civilian president neither a vice president. Gowon brought unity to Nigeria, Babangida ensure the building of the FCT while Abdulsalami Abubakar ensure that Nigeria return to democracy.
“These are people from the North Central that have remained bridge builders. Whatever assignment you give a North Central person be it a Christian or a Muslim, the North Central have it in abundance. We are peace loving people and if Nigeria needs peace, the North Central will bring peace as it happened during the civil war when Gowon stabilise the country. Everyone that emerged president from the North Central, he or she will bring peace to Nigeria,” Sule said.
The North Central, which he said is in support of the Northern State Governors stand at the Kaduna declaration that the election of the next president should be through popularity and acceptability, added that the North Central region has qualify people that can succeed Buhari.
“Irrespective of political parties, the best person that will bring peace in Nigeria is someone who comes from the North Central. It is only in the North Central you will see half of the family being christians and half being Muslims living in peace. If Gowon, Babangida, Abdulsalami can do it under the military, the civilians from the same region can do it better,” Sule said.
“We are begging Nigerians that for peace to reign, the North Central people should be considered for the presidency in 2023. We are in support of the Northern Governors’ position taken in Kaduna that the position of the president in 2023 should be thrown open so that the best candidate will emerged.
“We are not talking to a political party as a forum but the forum have different people in different political parties. We have mandated our members to discuss the issue of a possible North Central president in their political parties and lobby for candidates from our region,” Sule said.
“At their various political meetings, we want our members to tell their colleagues what we want. It’s not just the PDP and the APC. They are the bigger political parties but we want all political parties to support the North Central presidency.
“We believe in the unity of this country and the best for this country. If any party give one of us the ticket, we will mobilise our members and the entire country to vote for him or her.
“We are the North Central. We can’t go anywhere. We have six states. And the North Central States want a president in 2023 and we want a president and the people are working hard to ensure that the North Central produce the next president. The race is open to everyone in the North Central to contest and if you are from the North Central, you can contest.
“It is possible for a North Central person to be the next president because we have credible people. The North Central is the bridge. And if that bridge collapse, the country is in danger. We have had people in the military who were there and they did not discriminate. If you see people who worked with IBB, Gowon and Abdulsalami they cut accross the country because they were not discriminatory,” Sule said justifying the call for a North Central President in the 2023 general elections.
“The only region that have not produce a president or a vice president under democracy is the north Central. We want to produce the president for peace and unity,” Sule added.
The forum which condemned attacks on their governors over the steps they are taking to bring peace and stability in the Nigerian Politics, also commended the North Central Legislature for presenting a bill for the North Central Development Commission.
Sule added that the North Central Development Commission has been the yearning of the North Central Peoples Forum adding that it will help in tackling insecurity and help in building the region as a result of the destruction that ravaged the area.
They commended president Muhammadu Buhari for the road construction projects in the area and appealed for more attention on the Akwanga – Jos road, Abuja – Suleja road, Minna – Mokwa – Kwara road and Abuja – Lokoja road.
The forum also called for the resuscitation of the Ajakuta steel company.