Agbarijo Egbe Odo Yoruba (Grand Council of Yoruba Youths) has told the Northern governors that power must return to the South in 2023.
The Aare Apapo (President – General) of the group, Comrade Awa Bamiji, in a statement on Tuesday, noted that although rotational presidency is not written in the country’s constitution, it is a gentleman’s agreement to give peace a chance across the regions based on the bitter experience of the June 12.
He added that rotational presidency was also to forestall crisis and to take care of the minority.
“That is why Late President Umaru Musa Yar’dua from Katsina State in the North West took over from President Olusegun Obasanjo from Ogun State, from South West region.
“Man proposes but God disposes. The former answered the call of Almighty after his successful two years in power and since the Presidential or Governorship ticket is joint, his Vice, Goodluck Jonathan, successfully completed the remaining 2 years in office without any form of rancour.
“It is understandable that the influential people across the country, most especially from the Northern Part conceded another four years to former President Goodluck Jonathan between 2011 and 2015, because being in power put him at an advantage. Therefore, there is no point disrupting the laid down arrangement.
“In 2015, power returned to the North, same Katsina State, but this time it was President Muhammadu Buhari, with candidates from other regions dropping out during the primary election,” he said.
Awa said the new position of the Northern governors is an attempt to “use the excuse that former President Jonathan benefited majorly from their supposed two terms in power, which they willingly gave him for their own selfish reasons. They want to make sure they use the same tactic of being in power again to retain it for two terms, from 2023 to 2031.”
“We strongly believe, it is high time we call their attention to the fact that if this happens, it means we are gradually returning to the insultive years of long military rule in Nigeria since independence in 1960 till 1999, which benefitted the Northern region massively. When the civilian rule returned in 1999, as a way to pacify and compensate the South that was marginalised and traumatised during the military era, a gentleman’s agreement was entered to rotate the presidency. The North is now asking for the compensation of the lost four years within the democratic rule to the South without recourse to the long era of military rule. Since they said rotational presidency is unconstitutional, there is no point in pegging the calculation from 1999 till date, we must address the problem ftom when Nigeria took off on October 1, 1960, to know where the problem of this authoritative cheating lies since we woke up as Nigeria in 1960.
“If some of the Northern governors had geniunely expressed their position in support of power shift to the South come 2023 as claimed in their communique, they won’t be part of the resolution in Kaduna State. We understand that politics is about interest and we don’t blame them for gladly scheming for the head of a cow ahead of 2023, but it is very important the rotational presidency is enshrined in the Nigerian constitution as soon as possible in the interest of peace and unity. We can’t avoid to witness another major political crisis like June 12. ‘Prevention is better than cure so they say,” Awa added.
On collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) by states and ban on open grazing in the Southern region, the group said it believed that restructuring or regional system of government is the best solution to the crisis.
“We therefore called on seccessionists to see the latest move by the Northern governors as an ‘eye opener’ which had interpreted their efforts and campaign for balkanization of Nigeria as aiding and aibeting the Northern oligarchy to remain in power as long as they choose.
“As students of history and political Science, we are not surprised at all about this latest development because politics all over the world is self-seeking, either personally or collectively, and this is the reason why the Constitution is in place to check the excesses of any party,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, the group has congratulated all the 2021 Yoruba National Day Odu’a Awardees for making the Yoruba race proud and the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, over the success of the 2021 Olojo festival.
They also felicitated with Senator Rashidi Ladoja; Gen. Buba Marwa (Rtd); Chief Bayo Adelabu and Alhaji Sherifat Aregbesola on the occasion of their respective birthday anniversary.
The Yoruba group further congratulated former Minister of Sports and Special Duties, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja, on his recent appoinments as Chairman, Governing Council, Federal College of Education, Obudu, Cross River State, and Pioneer Director-General of Teachers’ Continuous Training Institute (TCTI), in Biase, Biase Local Government, Cross River State.