The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has slammed the governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello for saying that rotational presidency was unconstitutional and that Nigerians should be allowed to choose from any part of the country.
Bello made the comment at the maiden edition of the Yahaya Bello seminar for political and crime correspondents in Abuja on Friday.
In a press release by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, on Monday, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization said that Bello, having been fortunate enough to be sworn in as governor of Kogi State at an impressionable age of 40 should rather align with his southern colleagues who have all agreed that power should move to the South in 2023.
Ohanaeze further warned Bello not to truncate his date with destiny by embarking on a political adventure that lacks both conscience and principle
“Governor Bello, no doubt, has demonstrated a remarkable obsession with ambition shortly after providence paved way for him to be sworn in as the governor of Kogi State in 2015 at an impressionable age of 40.
“There is no doubt that Bello has a date with destiny going by a smooth political ascendancy that life has presented to him. However, I have my fears that he is embarking on a political adventure that lacks both conscience and principle. The immortal words of Uthman Dan Fodio that “conscience is an open wound and only the truth can heal it” should serve as a moral compass to Nigerian leaders.
“Noah Webster had admonished that all the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the inner still voice or conscience.
“Governor Bello was still a student, studying accountancy at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), 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.
“The foregoing was the basis for the emergence of presidential candidates of the mainstream political parties from the South West in1999. Since then, the patriotic and peace loving Nigerians have adhered to the rotation principle such that at the end of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo second tenure, President Musa Yar’Adua was elected; Goodluck Jonathan and then President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The above expose informs the resolution by the Southern Governors that the South should produce the next President of Nigeria after President Buhari.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Ambassador Professor George Obiozor advises Bello that it will serve his interest better if he supports the resolution by his southern colleagues; since age is still in his favour.
“Bello is beckoned to the ethical functional relationship between the morality of an agreement and the legality of the constitution. For purpose of clarity, morality is the universal foundation of Laws. On the other hand, law should be seen to stand in defense of morality.”