By Osagie Otabor, Akure On Apr 23, 2022
Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, has criticised some Northern Elders for picking two of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) presidential aspirants as its consensus candidates.
The aspirants picked by the Northern Elders were Bauchi Governor Bala Mohammed and former Senate President Bukola Saraki.
But Afenifere said the decision of the Northern Elders exposed the quagmire of conscience they found themselves in the critical question of moving Nigeria forward.
It said the overriding interests of the continued corporate existence of Nigeria required more reflective statesmanship.
Secretary General of Afenifere, Sola Ebiseni, in a statement in Akure, said some leaders from the north have orchestrated several schemes at keeping the office of the President in the north after the 8 years tenure of President Buhari from the zone contrary to the popular and prevailing mood of the nation in favour of the power rotation to the south.
Ebiseni noted that it was intriguing that the Northern Elders inconsistently set aside all their vaunted factors in preference for equity.
According to him: “In their sermons they settled for aspirants from the North Central and North East against that of the North West only on the ground of adjudged equity that the zone had produced Presidential candidates and Presidents.
“They are deliberately oblivious of the indubitable history of Nigeria that the first executive ruler of Nigeria, Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa, August 1957-January 1966, was from the North East and specifically Bauchi State and that most of the Military Heads of the Nigerian State were of the North Central origin.
” It beats the imagination that the northern elders would fervently seek to execute their northern agenda in the PDP which controls only five of its 19 States. The nation weights in the wings to see the outcome of this gerrymandering.
“The resolves of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum that the next President of Nigeria, after Buhari’s 8 years full term, should a person of Southern Nigeria origin, in the interest of equity, national sense of belonging and cohesion is the national consensus. No group or section is greater than Nigeria and the compelling interest of its corporate existence.”