By Muhaimin Olowoporoku
Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has educated kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello on how rotational presidency became the norm in Nigeria.
The Kogi governor on Friday described calls for rotational presidency as unconstitutional, noting that Nigerians should be allowed to make their choices for the best candidate to emerge as president.
Ohanaeze slammed Bello in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Alex Ogbonnia on Monday.
Ohanaeze said the Kogi governor had demonstrated a remarkable obsession with ambition shortly after providence paved way for him to be sworn in as a governor in 2015, at an impressionable age of 40.
The group described Bello as “embarking on a political adventure that lacks both conscience and principle.”
It told the Kogi governor that he was still a student, studying accountancy at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria when an agreement was reached between the North and the South with respect to Rotational Presidency.
“The meeting was held at the National University Commission Conference Centre, Abuja in 1998.
“Dr.Chuba Okadigbo spoke on behalf of the South while Alh. Abubakar Rimi spoke for the North.
“The likes of Dr. Alex Ekwueme, Chief Solomon Lar, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, etc were at the meeting”, Ohaneze wrote.
“The Nigerian statesmen examined the merits and demerits of zoning and rotation of power between the composite zones in Nigeria.
“In the end, it was resolved that the presidency be conceded to the South and that it would rotate between the South and the North in the interest of equity, unity and corporate existence of Nigeria.”
“The foregoing was the basis for the emergence of presidential candidates of the mainstream political parties from the South West in 1999.
“Since then, the patriotic and peace-loving Nigerians have adhered to the rotation principle such that at the end of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s second tenure, President Musa Yar’Adua was elected; Goodluck Jonathan and then President Muhammadu Buhari, the statement read.
The group then backed the southern governors that called for 2023 presidency to be zoned to the south in their meeting last week.
Ohanaeze told Bello that it would serve his interest better if he supported the resolution by his southern colleagues; more so as “he is still young”.
Ohanaeze enjoined Bello to embrace the ethical functional relationship between the morality of an agreement and the legality of the constitution.