Southern & Middle Belt Forum kick against Atiku’s Candidacy, insist on Zoning

The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) has said the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as PDP’s presidential bearer can divide the country.

The group said the party was supposed to zone its presidential ticket to the South.

Atiku Abubakar after his PDP primary election victory.

In a statement, the SMBLF called on her members to unite in order to fight against such injustice.

“Sadly, it appears the unity and peace of Nigeria mean little or nothing to a segment of the nation’s political elite. This was evidenced in the PDP special convention, which was held on Saturday, 28th May 2022, where certain candidates from the North were pressured, coerced, and even intimidated to step down for former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who eventually emerged as the flagbearer of PDP, in utter derision of the established principle of zoning and rotation of power between the north and south,” the statement reads.

“Undoubtedly, the singular motive is to perpetuate the hegemony of the north, given that President Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim from the north and of Fulani origin will be completing his full tenure of eight years by this time next year.

“SMBLF, therefore, totally rejects the candidacy of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the PDP and calls on our people of Southern Nigeria and the Middle Belt as well as all true lovers of peace and unity not to vote for him or any other Northerner in the 2023 presidential election, in the interest of posterity.

“SMBLF further urges all aspirants for the office of President from southern Nigeria to shun the conceited attitude of individualism and self-confidence, and work collectively to achieve the shared objectives.

“Again, SMBLF calls on all politicians of southern extraction to refuse the position of a running mate to any northern presidential candidate, which will equally be viewed as subjugating their people to political slavery.”

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