Worried by the political tension stirred up by the agitation for powershift to the South, Forum of Northern Elders for Unity (FNEU) has resolved to back only presidential candidates from the South East part of the country.FNEU said part of the reasons for their meeting was to create a unifying platform that could bring the Igbo into power because they had been marginalised politically.
According to the forum, since the All Progressives Congress (APC) has a Northerner as President now, it will only be fair and democratic to return power to the South.
It, therefore, called on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to give its presidential ticket to Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, because of his antecedents as a leader with passion for peace, progress, and unity of the country.
In the communiqué signed by Chairman, Alhaji Baba Mala, and Secretary Yau Aliyu, the forum expressed readiness to support Ugwuanyi.
“We are from an advantaged region (North) with numerical voting strength to decide who becomes Nigeria’s president, thus we will continue to meet to work out solutions to douse the tension created due to the call for power tussle.
“It is now 22 years since Nigeria returned to democracy, and it’s unfair that the Igbo have not been considered for the position of President or Vice President,” it stated.
FNEU said having studied all the governors in the South East, it discovered Ugwuanyi as a bridge-builder and visionary leader that can be trusted with power.
Since the APC has zoned its presidential ticket to the South, it also urged PDP to do same, if it desires to win the 2023 election.
“If PDP wants to win the 2023 presidential election, it should consider giving its ticket to Ugwuanyi, and we are prepared to work and ensure his victory at the polls.
“Ugwuanyi has a proven track record as one of the governors, who has worked passionately to protect lives and properties of Northerners and settlers, created employment for all, regardless of tribe and religion since he assumed office, a feat worthy of note.”
They called on all Igbo and Southerners to join FNEU’s Project, ‘Restore Unity of Nigeria Now’ and appealed to Nigerians across the six geo-political zones to support our bid for a united Nigeria with the best presidential candidate come 2023.