The North Central Renaissance Movement, NCRM, has raised alarm over alleged move by the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, to marginalize the North Central in the 2023 presidential election race.
The alarm is contained in a statement jointly signed on Thursday by the NCRM chairman, secretary, and PRO, Nghargbu K’tso, Aliyu Mustapha and Onoja Alexander, respectively.
According to the group, “the PDP has led the pack by ensuring the Chairmanship of the Party is zoned to the North Central and then going ahead to produce as her National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, one of our highly respected elders who is himself eminently qualified to run for President in 2023”.
The statement partly read: “In essence, the PDP has zoned out the North Central from her 2023 presidential line up.
“No amount of spin will change this and we feel highly disappointed as we consider it a rape of our aspirations to produce a President of North Central extraction for Nigeria.
“Sadly, indications and insider information are fully agreed that the Governing All Progressives Congress (APC) is going to toe the PDP’s line in this regard by domiciling her National Chairmanship seat in the North Central to pave way for the presidential candidate to emerge from a more deserving geopolitical zone.
“This would be a further demonstration of scalding disregard for the feelings of the North Central and her people and we urge the Governing Party to reconsider to avoid passing the wrong information to her teeming supporters across our region.
“The NCRM has provided Nigeria with the statistics to show that the North Central is the most marginalised geopolitical zone of all in Nigeria since independence in terms of access and occupation of the nation’s two top jobs in all the four republics, or democratic dispensations we have had so far.
“We have travelled extensively over the last quarter of a year and consulted widely with sitting and past leaders, including Presidents, National and State legislators, leaders of political parties, civil society, Religious leaders, Royal Fathers, eminent personalities, and all manners of stakeholders in the Nigerian project, especially those from the North Central on these matters.
“Upon reviewing the figures, practically all of our hosts agreed with us that fairness, equity and justice in Nigeria would be much served if the next President is from the North Central. We shall be making a full press release on our consultations, interactions and conclusions within the next week.”
The group, therefore, urged the ruling APC, President Muhammadu Buhari and other leaders to lead with fairness, equity and justice “by not summarily benching the hopes of the united middle belt nationalities to participate in leading this country in a democracy for another 16 years at least”.
“For the records, our agitations are not in competition with those of the South East Geopolitical Zone which, like us, is yet to produce the President or Vice President of Nigeria since 1999.
“Inasmuch as the SE has the consolation price of having produced a Vice President in the 2nd Republic, our claims remain complementary to hers and we do hope the rest of Nigeria will give both regions a chance,” the group noted.