The pan-Northern socio-political organisation, Arewa Consultative Forum, says it will not object to a southerner succeeding President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
Speaking to The Punch on Saturday, ACF National Publicity Secretary, Emmanuel Yawe, said the forum will not support a particular zone or a particular candidate for the presidency or any other office.
He noted that the ACF will also not interfere in a matter that has been reserved for political parties to handle by the 1999 Constitution.
He said, “The ACF has no objection to a southerner becoming the president of Nigeria. In 1999, it was the northerners that promoted and voted for Olusegun Obasanjo as president. What the ACF will not do is to dabble into a matter that has been reserved for political parties to handle by the 1999 Constitution.
“The Constitution clearly states that it is the responsibility of political parties and nobody else to sponsor candidates. We cannot, in the circumstances, support a particular zone or a particular candidate for presidency or any other office. And as we have said before, the ACF welcomes northerners of all political persuasion and identity.”
Yawe said the forum cannot start discriminating or identifying with candidates without causing great disharmony in the organisation, the North, and Nigeria as a whole.
He, however, refuted the impression that northerners would never support a southerner to become the president of the country.
Yawe said: “We cannot start discriminating or identifying with candidates without causing great disharmony in the forum. We are trying to bring harmony and unity to the North and Nigeria. For now, the ACF wants the political parties to perform their constitutional roles in the selection of candidates.
“After that, we shall do the needful by way of advice to both the candidates and the electorate. The impression created that northerners will never support a southerner to be president of Nigeria is erroneous. Chief (Moshood) Abiola, a southerner, was elected on June 12, 1993, with massive electoral support from the North.”