A coalition of northern groups known as the Arewa Concerned Civil Society Organisations of Nigeria, on Monday, declared support for the presidential ambition of ex-President of the Senate and a one-time Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim.
The youth bloc described Anyim as a bridgebuilder who would ensure all interests are protected across board.
It also urged political parties to zone their 2023 presidential tickets to the South-East, saying the move would quell separatist agitations in the zone.
The spokesman for the coalition, Abdulsalam Kazeem, made this known at a press conference on Monday in Abuja.
Members of the youth bloc include the Arewa Youth Assembly, Arewa Students Forum, Concerned Northern Forum, North East Peace Movement, Arewa Youth Council, Northern Youth Assembly, Northern Women Initiative Forum, North East Development Council, North Central Grassroots Foundation, Arewa Female Youth Ambassadors Initiative, Initiative of Youth Advocate on Humanitarian Affairs, Arewa Youth Movement, amongst others.
The coalition said it realised that “only two regions out of the six geopolitical regions have not occupied either President or Vice-President seat since 1999 till date, which is unfair and against any democratic standard worldwide”.
Continuing, Kazeem said, “The South East, for instance, is part and parcel of the Nigerian project from day one till date; and, they should be treated fairly just like other zones of the country. They too deserve to get what others have gotten because they have paid their dues in terms of contributions and consolidation of Nigeria.
“The region is being captured in all other sectors of the Nigerian economy based on federal character from 1999 till date, but are denied either of the two positions mentioned earlier.”
He said the defence of Nigeria’s unity is predicated on rotational presidency, adding that “With the rotation of the presidency; We believe strongly that all these agitations for separation will stop not only in the south East but in other regions since the essence is to quench marginalization and promote unity, brotherhood and pan Nigerian sentiments.
“Consequently, we hereby urge all political parties to zone their presidential ticket to the South East for justice, equity and fairness.”