Jonathan’s supporters, who are members of the Citizens Network for Peace and Development in Nigeria, CNPDN, have flagged off campaigns in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, saying that the next president of Nigeria must emerge from the Southern part of the country.
Earlier in November, the supporters endorsed Bola Tinubu and commenced grassroots mobilisation in the South East and South South geopolitical zones of the country for the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
The CNPDN’s mobilisation for Tinubu was against the backdrop of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s expressed support for a southern president to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023. The group at that time had tried to prevail on Jonathan to join the presidential race.
The national secretary of the coalition, Mr Francis Okereke Wainwei, who hails from Bayelsa State, while briefing newsmen, said they unanimously resolved to support and vote for Tinubu in the forthcoming presidential election in 2023.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Wainwei noted that the position of the group was in line with that of the Northern Governors’ Forum of the APC and the Southern Governors’ Forum, who had declared for a southern president in 2023, noting that the emergence of a Southern President would unite the nation and ensure fairness and equity.
“In the same vein, our position that the next president of this country should come from the south is driven by same vision and principles,” he added, saying there would be a better sense of belonging for the southern people.
The group slammed some governors from the Southern part of Nigeria for allegedly betraying the interest of the zone, revealing that it was only Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike that insists on the southern presidency in 2023.
“We are, therefore, calling on the South South governors who have betrayed their people by supporting another northern candidate to take over from Buhari after eight years of a president from the North, to resign immediately.
“This is because the people of the South South zone can no longer trust them with their common heritage as they have placed their personal interests above the collective interest of their people. Our call on them to resign is also premised on the fact that they recently received huge sums of money via the 13% derivation fund and squandered same in pursuit of their personal interests at the expense of their people,” Wanwein articulated.
While calling on the state houses of assembly to impeach governors that are against the interest of the zone if they failed to resign from office, the group vowed to mobilise people from the affected states to force the said governors to either resign or get impeached.