By Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
Some indigenes of the North Central zone under the auspices of North Central Peoples Forum (NCPF) have urged other geo-political zones in the country to concede the presidency to the region in 2023.
The NCPF said the region was yet to have a shot at the presidency under a democratic setting.
The Kogi State House of Assembly recently canvassed for the zoning of the presidency to the North Central in 2023.
Addressing reporters in Ilorin, Kwara State on Saturday ahead of the launch of the state’s chapter of NCPF, the Secretary General, Khaleel Bolaji, said: “I am not mincing words. The North Central has over the years been marginalised.
“What the Kogi State House is saying, that the region should produce the next president come 2023, is correct.
“I am on the same page with them as an individual and as the Secretary General of NCPF.
“All the remaining five zones in the country have produced the president of the country while the North Central is yet to have a shot at it under a democratic setting.
“Name them: Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe of South East, Goodluck Jonathan of South-South, Olusegun Obasanjo of South West.
“Of course, the North West has had a shot at it up to four times, and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa was from the North East.
“Our votes in the North Central are more than the South West votes. But because the South West has the press to make the noise, it always gets its ways.
“If politics about number, then we should be placed properly.”
Alhaji Bolaji added that the North Central zone had not been accorded its rightful place in the scheme of things in the larger northern region.
“There is no disputing the fact that the North Central geopolitical zone is part of the North, but the North is not one.
“We are one in terms of understanding one another. But when it comes to sharing the benefits, you will discover that there are disparities.
“For instance, nobody can be minister of Niger Delta except he is from that region. Abuja is in the North Central but over the years, majority of the ministers from the Federal Capital Territory have been outside of the North Central zone. This is part of what we are talking about.
“I can say that 80 per cent of solid mineral resources are from this zone. Rivers Niger and Benue are from here.
“Indeed, this is the zone that is holding Nigeria. We are the food basket of the country. These are the things we want Nigerians to know.
“The launching of the forum is the beginning of a new dawn in terms of politics for the geo-political region.
“With the forum in place, the region will now be able to do the needful in terms of making sure that our people get their rightful place in the context of Nigeria.
“This is not a breakaway from Arewa Consultative Forum (AC). We are part and parcel of ACF.”
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