2023:Presidency Must Return To South– Akeredolu

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2023:Presidency Must Return To South– Akeredolu

Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has reaffirmed his stance on the presidency, insisting that power must return to the south in 2023.

Akeredolu asserted that there is a written agreement in the country since the advent of democracy in 1999, insisting that the arrangement must not change now, urging Nigerians to uphold the arrangement in the coming presidential election.

He said this on Wednesday at the one-year remembrance of Prof. Bankole Oke of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ibadan, while delivering a lecture entitled, ‘Nigeria: The politics of religion in a transitional society’

He said, “A party that picked somebody from the North as its presidential candidate is not doing so in the country’s interest. (Peter) Obi has the right to contest because he is from the South.

“We are ready to give it whatever it takes to make sure power returns to the South in 2023.”

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“There appears to be an understanding that power must rotate between the North and the South. This understanding witnessed the contest of two candidates from the South-West for the Presidency. It was part of the unwritten agreement that the power equation must be balanced to allay the fear of domination harboured by the people of the South.

“There is a conscious attempt not to disrupt the extant agreement. There has been a seamless transition from one civilian regime to another since 1999, the longest in the political history of the country.

“The current political permutations raise strong suspicions on an undeclared motive to thwart the arrangement that has been working for the country. The rotation of the office of the President is between the North and the South since the inception of the Fourth Republic.”

The governor also warned Nigerians to beware of the tricks of desperate politicians using religion to divide the people.

“Religion is currently being deployed most shamelessly by the elites to gain unmerited advantage. The earlier we stop this dangerous and divisive campaign, the better it will be for everyone. Any war fought to establish the supremacy of a faith over others can only end in tears. The manipulative skills of politicians currently put to use will aggravate an already bad situation.

“The solution to the challenges faced in the country will not be found in the faiths of individuals. A person’s religious persuasion is based on personal conviction. It is essentially private. The public space must remain secular.

“Consequently, the current agitations for a faith-based political representation are anchored on a certain misapprehension of the requirements for leadership in a multi-ethnic state such as Nigeria.

“It borders on plain mischief to set the people on themselves to attain political power. Any so-called religious leader, who ignores knowledge and competence as necessary criteria to measure leadership capacity, is an apostate,” he added.

A Professor of Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Simeon Cadmus, and others described Oke as a great teacher, mentor, and outstanding academic.

Rotimi Akeredolu


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