By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
Governors from the southern part of the country have hailed their northern colleagues for throwing their weight behind the call that Presidency should move to the South in 2023 and for urging the All Progressives Congress (APC) to pick its presidential candidate for the election from the southern part of Nigeria.
The southern governors, in a statement issued on Saturday night by the Chairman, Southern Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, described the decision of the northern governors as “a landmark achievement in quest for understanding, rapprochement and continual engagements for mutual beneficence.”
They appealed to all all northern aspirants in the presidential race to withdraw in the national interest and allow only the aspirants from the South to proceed to the primaries slated for next week.
The statement read: “We received with utmost joy the news of the resolution of the 11 governors from the Northern Region.
”We, therefore, wish to strongly recommend to President Muhammad Buhari that the search for his successor as the APC presidential candidate be limited to our compatriots from the Southern states.
“We appeal to all aspirants from the Northern states to withdraw in the national interest and allow only the aspirants from the South to proceed to the primaries.
“We are delighted by the decision of our esteemed colleague, Governor Abubakar Badaru, to contribute to this patriotic quest by withdrawing his presidential aspiration.
“We did not expect anything short of this heartwarming decision from our colleagues, great patriots and reliable partners in the collaborative efforts geared towards the attainment of nationhood for our dear country.
“This is indeed another landmark achievement in our quest for understanding, rapprochement and continual engagements for mutual beneficence.
“We acknowledge this courageous stance for equity and moral rectitude. We applaud the zeal and determination of our brothers to engage realistically and honestly. We salute this uncommon resolve to confront issues militating against the march towards nationhood and ultimate greatness
“By this gesture, we are convinced of the seriousness of our colleagues to join other patriots in ensuring that the ascendant march towards stability, progress and prosperity is not truncated by indiscretion.
“We congratulate our brother, Governor Abubakar Badaru, for his exemplary conduct. Posterity will remember him for good. We thank the leadership of the Northern Governors’ Forum for the patriotic zest displayed at this crucial moment.
“We look forward to conducting a hitch-free convention that will culminate in the election of a suitable candidate who will hoist the party’s flag with a sense of mission.”