Governor of Ondo State – Rotimi Akeredolu has warned that any political party that fields a northern candidate will lose the upcoming presidential elections.
Akeredolu who is also the Chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum, stated this during a meeting with the Power Rotation Movement group in Akure.
The group which is led by Dr Pogu Bitrus (also the Chairman of the Middle Belt Forum), had paid a courtesy visit to Gov. Akeredolu’s office. Other group members present were the Co-chair, Rtd. General Collins Ihekire, representing the Ohaneze Ndigbo; National Organising Secretary of Afenifere, Abagun Kole Omololu; representative of Yoruba Council of Elders, Hon. Ayodele Oni; National Publicity Secretary of Afenfere, Comrade Jaye Ajayi; National Publicity Secretary of PANDEF, Hon. Ken. Robinson; and Comrade Kennedy Iyere, National Coordinator of Power-shift Movement & Forty Million Ballots (a movement being driven by the youth).
In an extensive statement, Akeredolu reiterated the efforts made by the southern governors to ensure Nigeria’s next president will come from the south.
He also lauded the group for its strategy in involving and mobilizing Nigerian youths ahead of the 2023 elections; stressing on the need for unity and fairness in the nation.
“In about two or three meetings, we have come out and declared that power must move to the south.
“Only a party that is determined to lose will field a northern candidate. You are now a movement of members of political parties coming together. What we stand for is fair and equitable power rotation. The only thing fair is that after 8 years in the north, it should come to the south.
“Some of us believe in One Nigeria that’s fair and equitable. We have a reason for it and it can be defended.
“Some people have argued that the presidency should be based on competence. Are they saying there are no competent ones in the south?
“My brother governors from the south, all of us are determined. Whosoever we pick, for as long as it is south, we will support him. We are saying the President must come from the south. There are people who merit it in the South-South, South- East, and the South-West.
“I also support your approach. If you are able to mobilize the youth and do not allow the election to be rigged, then we will win. You should also get our women to support us,” Akeredolu stated.
Chairman of the Power Rotation Movement, Dr Pogu Bitrus, earlier spoke highlighting the group’s keen intentions to rotate power towards the south.
“We are passionate believers that power should rotate in this country and should move from the north to the south. We launched the 40 million ballot movement. That’s the sensitization of the youth. We launched it for our youth to key in.
“Leaders in the south and middle belt met in Abuja and agreed that power should rotate to the south, that the middle belt and the south should move against any party that fields any candidate outside the southern part of the country,” he said.