Stakeholders of the Niger Delta region have begun the drive for a South-South presidency come 2023.
Rising from an enlarged meeting held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, leaders from the oil rich region resolved on the need for the South-South to produce the next president of the country through the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
The group in a statement signed by its protem chairman, Chief Diekivie Ikiogha from Bayelsa state and representatives from all the South-South states, said it would soon begin advocacy across the region to sensitize stakeholders on the South-South presidency agenda.
The statement read in parts: “the group will reach out to all stakeholders in the South-South geopolitical region, including the governors, irrespective of their political affiliations to secure their buy into the South-South presidency in 2023.
“The group positions itself as a strong political platform in the South-South region in defence of the region’s political ethos. Consequently, it will work absolutely for the emergence of a South-South president during the next general elections.
“The group accepts and stands by the position of leaders of the southern and Middle Belt that no South-South aspires or accepts vice presidential candidate or chairman of any political party in the country.”
On the growing insecurity bedeviling the country, the group called on the federal and state governments, traditional and religious leaders as well as Nigerians at large to step up efforts to save the country from total collapse.
The group, which expressed concerns over underdevelopment of the Niger Delta despite its huge economic contribution to the country, also called on president Muhammadu Buhari to immediately constitute a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to enable it achieve its objectives and purpose.
“The group strongly urges the Next Assembly to create a platform that will enable Nigerians give to themselves a people’s constitution
that will allow for a fiscal federalism and a home grown democratic governance structure,” the statement added.