It is already a known fact that Nigeria is preparing for the next presidential election in 2023.
Arguably, the 2023 election is fast approaching as the clamour for an Igbo President dominates debates in some quarters. As a matter of fact, agitation for an Igbo to become the next President is arguably backed by the demand of the 17 Southern governors that power should return to the Southern region after the Buhari APC led administration expired in 2023.
Be that as it may, the South East is one of the major and strategic regions that has never tasted the exalted position of Nigeria’s President since 1999 but has always supported other regions of the country. However, the South West and South-South have ruled Nigeria, respectively. And as it stands now, the North is currently holding power till 2023.
Going by the foregoing and for equity and fairness to prevail, it would be a wise decision for political parties in the country to maintain the already existing zoning system in preparation for the next election. This would in turn help the Southern region to produce the next President of the country. In that regard, the North should deem it necessary to allow the South East, in particular, to produce the next President of the country.
However, it has been argued that the North has a larger population and voting strength as could be compared to the Southern region. No wonder the Northern Elders Forum through its spokesman, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said the North may retain power in 2023. Well, it is arguable that since the North is currently in power, the region should not be self-centered in the coming elections. The South East region in particular should be given a chance to rule the country. This could in several ways solve the already perceived marginalization and neglect by previous and present governments, give the region a sense of belonging in the scheme of things in the country.
Against this background, this article seeks to discuss two key reasons why the North should support the South East to produce the next President. In my opinion, the principles of ‘scratch my back, and I would scratch yours’, would be reciprocated when it is time for the North to produce the next President in 2032.
First, the Southern region has always stood by other regions. It would be a wise decision for the Northern region to support the South, especially the South East region, to produce the next President. Some political analysts and commentators have said that the Igbo Presidency is long overdue. They are also arguing that the region should field a candidate irrespective of the political parties to succeed President Buhari in 2023.
Indubitably, the Southern region has qualified and competent politicians who are capable of taking the country to the next level of growth and development. Although some of them are yet to declare interest and intentions for the Presidential election in 2023.
Second, just as the South uses its resources through Value Added Tax (VAT contribution to the federal government, FG purse), to support the less productive states in the North and other parts of Nigeria, the North should consider aligning interest with the Southern politicians to produce the next President. Again, despite the fact that zoning is not constitutional, it is arguable that the Southern region should produce Nigeria’s next President based on the Southern governors forum declaration. Also, on the basis that the North is in charge of the affairs of the country at the moment through the Buhari APC led administration.
On a final note, the aforementioned would create a balance of power. Also, it is the wish of the 17 Southern governors that the Southern region produces the next President of Nigeria, and it would be a dream come true for the region if the next President came from the region.