Southerners Say Northern Nigeria Brings Nothing To The Table, Forgetting We Produce All The Beef, Onions, Others – ACF

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The ACF said the North would not succumb to blackmail and intimidation.

The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has reacted to calls by the South against Northern Presidency in the 2023 elections.
 
The group, in a statement on Thursday, kicked against what it considered as threats from the South over zoning and power shift from the North.

The ACF said the North would not succumb to blackmail and intimidation.
 
Major socio-political groups in the South have warned their politicians against settling for the Vice President slot.
 
These groups include Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and the Middle Belt Forum; they have all been aggressively pushing for a power shift.
 
Governors from the South have also insisted that power should return to the South after President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure ends in 2023. By then, Buhari would have spent eight years in power.
 
But the ACF, in a statement by its Secretary-General, Murtala Aliyu, has rejected zoning the presidency to the south, noting that the law and democratic principles must be followed.
 
The group claimed it was not opposed to any part of the country producing Buhari’s successor.
 
The ACF statement noted with dismay that some southern politicians had been issuing warnings against the election of another northerner as president.
 
This, it said, is even though the North has only ruled for 10 years since the beginning of the fourth republic in 1999.
 
The group lamented: “Southerners always refuse to acknowledge the fact that, all the beef, all the tomatoes, the onions, the beans, etc. consumed in the South, are produced in the North.
 
“As they say, the North brings nothing to the table and is entitled to nothing.”
 
The Forum warned that blackmail and intimidation of break-up of Nigeria should be stopped as the southern leaders neither have patent nor monopoly of issuing such threats.
 
The statement reads: “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 facts that the North has 78 per cent of the landmass of Nigeria. They refuse to accept that the North has over 55 per cent of the population of Nigeria.
 
“They won’t concede that the voting population in the Northwest 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 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.
 
“As we inch up towards the 2023 elections, it comes as no surprise that some Southern politicians are giving their Northern counterparts an ultimatum which roughly translates thus: elect no one from the North as President or we will break up the country!
 
“But what are the facts? Nigeria’s Fourth Democratic Republic is about 22 years old. Of this, Northerners ruled for only 10 years.
 
“But in spite of this, some southern politicians are furious, issuing dare warnings against the election of any Northerner as president.
 
“It has to be stated clearly and for the avoidance of any doubt that the North is not and has never been opposed to the election of any Nigerian from any part of the country as President. Anything that will be done to achieve that however must accord with the law and democratic principles.
 
“Gone are the days when Northerners felt blackmailed and intimidated by threats of re-structuring, secession, break-up or breakdown of Nigeria.
 
“The North does not seek to dominate any part of the country but will not submit itself to be relegated to serfdom.
 
“Those issuing ultimatums are to be pitied knowing that they know not what they are doing. They own no patent nor monopoly of the art or science of ultimatums. Enough of the blackmail.”

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