By NBF News

The statement credited to the Northern Elders Assembly that the North must be allowed to produce the next president in 2011 has received a thumbs down from Southern Kaduna people.

The people said the northern elders should keep quiet and allow President Goodluck Jonathan to contest the forthcoming presidential election.

Addressing a press conference yesterday in Kaduna, the President of the Southern Kaduna Progressive Youths Movement, under the umbrella of the Southern Kaduna Progressive Union (SOKAPU), Caleb Abboh, noted that even if the North would produce the president, a minority tribe from the region would not be chosen as a northern candidate.

SOKAPU, therefore, said it completely disagreed with the position of the Northern elders that the presidency must be zoned to the North.

The union, however, expressed confidence in President Jonathan, pointing out that so far the president had been firm, assertive and fair in all his decisions and as such he should declare his intention without delay to run for the presidency.

According to the Southern Kaduna people, 'is the Jonathan presidency not a continuation of the Yar'Adua ticket? Why are the northern elders afraid of a Jonathan presidency? Are they saying someone from a minority tribe cannot be president? 'We know that even when power will go back to the North, a Jerry Gana, Barnabas Gemade or Sarah Jibril will never be chosen as a northern candidate.

'So why are these elders fooling us? This country should by now be able to produce a president from any part of the country, provided the person can move the country forward. 'We, therefore, wish to unequivocally state that we support a Jonathan candidature and completely disagreed with their position that the presidency must be zoned to the North in 2011.'

The Southern Kaduna Union also tongue-lashed the northern elders on their perceived undemocratic activities in Kaduna State, and warned that any attempt to disallow the incumbent Governor, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa from contesting next year election would be firmly resisted.

'We sense that these elders will soon replicate their shrewd manipulations in Kaduna State. 'From their utterances and actions so far, they are not happy and are already scheming for their own candidate to contest the 2011 elections. But let these elders know that we are now wiser and can no longer be trampled upon or taken for granted anymore.'