2023: Northern group says no to Jonathan, Northwest candidate

A group, Northern Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF), has asked former President Goodluck Jonathan not to vie for the Presidency come 2023.

The group, which addressed a news conference in the Adamawa State capital, Yola on Tuesday, said although, Goodluck Jonathan acquitted himself well as president, especially by humbly conceding defeat in the 2015 election and ensuring smooth transition to the present government, the odds against him are high.

National Chairman of the Forum, Elliot Afiyo, told newsmen at the news conference that Jonathan went against the interest of the North when, contrary to an earlier agreement which he signed, he contested in and won the 2011 presidential election, a development which he said the North still remembers.

He added that insurgency which Goodluck Jonathan fought but failed to curtail, is still a challenge even under a northern president and that the North would prefer a northerner as president for a greater chance at finally taming insurgency.

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“You remember the difficulty of the Jonathan Presidency over the Boko Haram insurgents. He was even accused of deliberately encouraging insurgency to undermine the North,” Afiyo said.

The forum also rejected the possibility of the next president coming from the Northwest, and warned All Progressives Congress (APC) against zoning its presidential seat to the Northwest towards 2019.

It advised the party to instead zone its presidential ticket to the southwest to compensate the region for its support that ensured President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory in 2015 and 2019.

Making the point that the Northwest had produced two presidents and a vice president in recent times, Afiyo said, “We want to advise our elders and elite from the Northwest to shelve any interest in the presidency or vice Presidency come 2023 for the unity of the Northern region.”

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