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Zoning: Southerners have no monopoly of threats, says ACF

The Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu has knocked the Federal Government for playing double standards on gun license permission for regional security outfits.

Rotimi Akeredolu

The Pan-Northern socio-political organisation, Arewa Consultative Forum, on Thursday came hard on those insisting that the next president must come from the southern part of the country.

The forum argued that the North had ruled only 10 out of the 22 years in the “Nigerian fourth Democratic Republic” which started in 1999.

The forum insisted that the region must not be cowed into submission over the 2023 presidency.

Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, had on Tuesday warned the All Progressives Congress against zoning the 2023 presidential slot to the north, saying that not zoning the presidency to the South might cause a crisis.

But the ACF, through its Secretary-General, Murtala Aliyu, in a statement titled, ‘Enough of the blackmail’ in Kaduna on Thursday, said the North won’t tolerate the subtle blackmail and intimidation from southerners.

The ACF warned southern politicians against issuing threats or ultimatums regarding where the next Nigerian president would be zoned to, saying that “the North is not and has never been opposed to the election of any Nigerian from any part of the country as president.”

It added that those issuing ultimatums were to be pitied, knowing that they know not what they are doing. They also said that the Southerners owned “no patent or monopoly of the art or science of ultimatums.”

On the region’s numerical strength, the ACF said, the South won’t concede that the voting population in the North-West region of the North alone is bigger than those of the South-East and  South-South combined.

According to the Forum, they will no longer feel blackmailed and intimidated by southerners’ threats of restructuring, secession, break up or break down of Nigeria.

The ACF said, “A long-running political riddle that has continued to frustrate all efforts at achieving ‘justice, equity and fair-play’ is this: anything and everything in which the North has superiority or advantage or strength is, in the opinion of many southerners, fake or contrived or speculative and therefore unacceptable.

“These southerners contest the fact that the North has 78% of the landmass of Nigeria. They refuse to accept that the North has over 55% of the popular won of Nigeria.

“They won’t concede that the voting population in the North-West region of the North alone is bigger than those of the South-East and South-South combined.

“They will never acknowledge the fact that all the beef, all the tomatoes, the onions, the beans, etc. consumed in the South, is produced in the North. They concede nothing.

“On the contrary, they say the North brings nothing to the table and is entitled to nothing. Not to an equitable share of national revenues, not to a fair share of employment in the public services or to admissions into public schools.

“If the law says, for example, that election outcomes must be based on one man, one vote, they quickly dismiss it as an ‘imposition’ by northerners. They contest every fact, every principle, including those that formed the basis of our union, such as our federation, our system of administration, our democracy, etc.”

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