The debate around the zoning of the presidency ahead of the 2023 elections continued Monday with the Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF) condemning their southern counterparts over their stance on power shift.
The NSGF’s position was reached at the end of its meeting with traditional rulers from the region in Kaduna.
Whirlwind.com reports that reading the 11-point resolution at the end of the meeting, NSGF Chairman, Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong said notwithstanding the position of some northern governors on rotational presidency, the action of the southern top politicians was “counter-productive, especially as it negates the position of the constitution.”
“The Forum observed that some Northern State Governors had earlier expressed views for a power-shift to three Geo-Political zones in the South to promote unity and peace in the Nation.
“Notwithstanding their comments, the Forum unanimously condemns the statement by the Southern Governors Forum that the Presidency must go to the South.
“The statement is quite contradictory with the provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) as amended that the elected President shall score the majority votes; score at least 25% of the votes cast in 2/3 States of the Federation.
In the case of run-up simple majority wins the election,” the governors said.
On the ban on open grazing, the Forum asked the federal government to “expedite action on the well-established National Livestock Transformation Programme as a springboard in transiting from the open grazing system as widely practised in the North.”
On the ongoing Value Added Tax (VAT) debacle, they said: “The judgement of the Federal High Court calls to question the constitutionality of VAT, withholding tax, education tax, Niger Delta Development Commission, National Information Technology Development Agency, 13% derivation, National Economic Development Council and many others currently levied and collected by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“Rivers and Lagos State Government had enacted their VAT laws and the Southern Governors Forum has expressed support for this course of action.