The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has said the plans by political parties to zone the 2023 presidency to the South is unconstitutional and a plot to intimidate northern contestants.
The CNG spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, stated this during a press conference in Abuja on Monday. He noted that the group is backing the position of the Northern Governors’ Forum that political parties should scrap the idea of zoning the presidential race.
Suleiman said the north will not be compelled to any zoning arrangement for elective positions in the 2023 race.
According to him, “We find the renewed desperation by the south to threaten [the] northern people’s right to franchise a deliberate attempt to bastardise democracy, cause greater instability in the guise of contentious undemocratic power shift arrangement and therefore unacceptable.”
“The CNG after due consultation with stakeholders, leaders and elders has categorically resolved to firmly and solidly align completely with the position taken by the Northern Elders Forum as expressed by Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed and that of the Northern Governors’ Forum that zoning of elective positions is unconstitutional, undemocratic and must be jettisoned,” he said.
Suleiman stated further that concerning elections, the northern region is an essential stakeholder in the country.
Recall that governors of the 19 northern states had rejected the call by their southern counterparts last week that the 2023 Presidency should be zoned to the South.
In a communique read at the end of their meeting on September 27, the Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, said zoning is against the provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
They argued that an elected president should be one that can meet the constitutional requirements, which include scoring the majority votes, and polling at least 25 per cent of the votes cast in two-thirds of the 36 states of the federation.
The Chairman stressed that although some northern governors have supported zoning the presidential candidacy to the South, the regional governors have collectively fault such calls.