2003: Ohanaeze attacks Bello, gov insists rotational presidency unconstitutional

July 12, 2021
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THE apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has faulted the recent comment of Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello over rotational Presidency.

Bello had during a maiden edition of the ‘Governor Yahaya Bello seminar for political and crime correspondents’ in Abuja, on Friday, described rotational Presidency as unconstitutional.

He said, “Nigerians should be allowed to make their choices for the best candidate to emerge for the top post.”

Ohanaeze in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, on Monday, slammed the governor, saying that he had demonstrated a remarkable obsession with ambition shortly after providence paved the way for him to be sworn in as a governor in 2015 at an impressionable age of 40.

The statement read in part, “there is no doubt that Bello has a date with destiny going by a smooth political ascendancy that life has presented to him.”

It expressed fears that the youthful governor “is embarking on a political adventure that lacks both conscience and principle.”

Going down memory lane on the history of rotation, the apex Igbo group averred that “Governor Bello was still a student, studying accountancy at the Ahmadu Bello University, 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 (NUC) 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.

“The Nigerian statesmen examined the merits and demerits of zoning and rotation of power between the composite zones in Nigeria.

“At 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.”

In response, the Kogi State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Hon. Kingsley Fanwo, berated the socio-cultural organisation for casting aspersions on the governor.

Fanwo said, “We have practiced rotation, but what have we to show for it as a nation? Who remembers where a good President comes from?

“The South-East can bring forward their best to contest the election. What the nation needs now is the best for the job.

“Our constitution doesn’t respect rotational presidency. It was the convenience of the political class.

“The governor didn’t dispute such an unwritten agreement. But he is faulting it. We need a young, vibrant and pragmatic President come 2023.

“We need a man who will be at home with everyone from everywhere.

“The agreement made while he was in school over 20 years ago must not necessarily be in force forever, especially when it has not taken our nation to where we want to be as the true giant of Africa. We need a new one for a generation that wants to see Nigeria prosper.

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