Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo’s rumoured presidential ambition got a boost on Wednesday as some youths drawn from the 19 northern states and Abuja converged on Kaduna and tipped him as the best man to succeed the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), in 2023.
They said the North should concede the 2023 presidency to the South-West geopolitical zone and in particular to the incumbent Vice President for continuity’s sake.
While noting that Osinbajo was fit to take over from Buhari, the group, however, warned against fielding candidates of the same faith for the position of the President and Vice-President in 2023.
According to them, the Osinbajo can be paired with a candidate from the North in the next general elections.
The youth stated these at a joint conference on northern political participation and power shift in the North held at the Arewa House, Kaduna.
The conference with the theme, ‘Northern Agenda: our real solution’, was organised by the Arewa Consensus Assembly in collaboration with Joint Participation for Development Initiative and National Partnership Campaign Project.
The youth also said Osinbanjo had qualities to lead the country to greatness in 2023 and beyond, and warned the North against not conceding power to the Vice-President.
They said failure to do that would incur dire consequences to the North’s interests.
While saying that Osinbajo’s presidency would unite Nigerians, the northern groups noted that his administration would roll out strategies capable of bringing to end banditry and all forms of threats to the sovereignty of the country.
At the end of the one-day conference, the groups in a 29-point communiqué, said, “The true desire of the North is a better Nigeria for all, where there is hope and fulfilment.
“That the North recognises that there is an urgent responsibility to build and foster confidence between the different ethnicities and geopolitical zones of Nigeria, as well as mitigate religious differences and insecurities between the people of Nigeria.
“That the unfortunate perception that the North is determined to hold on to power, including by attempting to foist a retention of the presidency in the North, is causing division and mistrust for northerners by other ethnicities in Nigeria.
“As such, all things considered, and for both the short and long term interests and benefits of the North, the joint conference resolves and hereby declares that it is appropriate, invariable and inescapable that the choice of the presidency in the 2023 elections must emerge from the South-West region of Nigeria.
“The consequences of the North’s failure to accede and participate in ensuring and supporting rotation of power to the South-West will be dire for the short-term and long-term political and developmental interests and relevance of the North.
“Although the joint conference made its above deliberations, considerations and resolutions in the broader interest of the North and not partisan or specific candidacy, it notes that the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osibanjo, SAN, GCON, fits and addresses the questions of balance, qualities and attributes expressed and resolved by the joint conference.”
Rejecting the same faith ticket, the groups added, “The joint conference states that it is abhorrent, unacceptable and roundly rejected by Nigerians that the presidential and vice-presidential ticket will be dominated by candidates of the same faith, such as Muslim/Muslim. Under no circumstances should any aspiring or hopeful political party or candidate be a consideration in the current national state of Nigeria.”
The communiqué was endorsed by the leaders of the Arewa Consensus Assembly, Daniel Shawaulu; National Partnership Campaign Project, Alhaji Suleiman Makama; and the Joint Participation for Development Initiative, Alhaji Khalid Mohammad.
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