The Governor of Ondo State, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, has said any political party that fields a northern candidate for presidency in 2023 risks losing the support of southerners.
Akeredolu made this known on Friday in an interview on Channels Television monitored by TheCable.
While speaking on the resolutions of the Southern Governors’ Forum on the 2023 elections and the fact that the presidency must be zoned to the South, Akeredolu, who is the chairman of the forum, said this was for the sake of justice and fairness.
He argued that when the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), a northerner, completes his second term in 2023, the next president should come from the South.
Akeredolu said, “There are about three political parties that are in the Southern Governors’ Forum, we have the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress. All of us are unanimous in our position that the next president of this country must come from the South.
“For us, we are unanimous. It (the forum) is not a political platform. I believe that any party that picks somebody from the North would have to face the whole southern region because they will not support it.
“It has to come from the South. We are saying that there must be what I will call rotation. The justice of it and the fairness in it are what we are preaching. If my president – President Buhari — has been in office for eight years, it can’t be from the North. The next president must come from the South.”
While replying to critics who said competence should override zoning for the 2023 election, Akeredolu said there were competent persons both in the northern and southern regions.
He stated, “There are many people that are competent. We have competent people in the North as we have competent people in the South, so the president can come from any part of the country.”