The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) says there is no need for politicians and other interest groups in the southern part of the country to issue threats and ultimatums to Northerners residing in their region should the region fail to produce a President in 2023 general elections.
The Secretary-General of the forum, Murtala Aliyu, in a statement titled, “Enough of the blackmail”, and made available to newsmen in Kaduna, insisted that the North producing the next president of the country should not unsettle the South.
“Gone are the days when Northerners felt blackmailed and intimidated by threats of restructuring, secession, break up or breakdown of Nigeria.”
The Secretary-General noted that the North does not seek to dominate any part of the country, stressing that it would not submit itself to be relegated to serfdom.
ACF explained that those issuing ultimatums were to be pitied, knowing that they knew not what they were doing.
The statement added that they owned no patent nor monopoly of the art or science of ultimatums.
It expressed surprise over how the South does not contest the fact that the North covers 78 percent of the landmass of Nigeria, but refused to accept that the North has over 55 percent of the population of Nigeria.
According to Daily Post, the statement added that the voting population in the Northwest region of the North alone is bigger than those of the Southeast and South-South combined, stressing “the South would never acknowledge the fact that all the beef, all the tomatoes, the onions, the beans, etc. consumed in the South are produced in the North.”
“They contest every fact, every principle, including those that formed the basis of our union, such as our federation, our system of administration, our democracy, among others,” the statement explained.
ACF pointed out that as the country inched towards the 2023 elections, it came as no surprise that some Southern politicians were giving their Northern counterparts an ultimatum.
Some groups, like IPOB and others, in groups or individuals have been issuing ultimatums to Northerners residing in several parts of the region, this is despite the fact that the North accommodates every Nigerian with as little discrimination as possible.
As the 2023 elections approaches, fears are heightened that there could be a similar ultimatum should some the North refuse to support a Presidential candidate from the South.
However, with the popularity of a Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and the deep roots of leader of the APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, this could be mere fear and nothing more.