2011: Arewa insist on Northern Presidency
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has vowed to ensure that the north produces the nation's next president in 2011.
The forum in Kaduna state, north west Nigeria stated that notwithstanding the current political crisis in the country that the northern region would not relent in its effort to produce the nation's president in the 2011 general election.
The forum said that the north is in support of the zoning arrangement in the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and that the socio-political body for the northern region will stand up against anything that will affect the region negatively.
The national publicity secretary of the forum, Mr Anthony Sani at the inauguration of the Kaduna state chapter of the forum however expressed regret that the country is tending towards a one-party state.
"Since they wanted zoning and they are our own people and the zoning is not against Northern interest we have no basis whatsoever to go against it because it is in our interest.
"So what we want is that if all the political parties have all their candidates from the North the final outcome will be that of Olusegun Obasanjo and Olu Falae in 1999; it will be a family affair.
"When we came to that decision (that all political parties should field Northerners as presidential candidates in 2011), people thought that we just came to that decision like that, they do not know that we actually thought about it seriously.
"So I am pleading with you that we are now in this forum to find a way of coming together so that all our decisions can be one.
"The other issue that has been engaging our attention is whether the ACF has been partisan or not, for example in the past there has been politics of resource control, there has been politics of Federal Character and a lot of issues.
"These issues are not partisan, there was the issue of third term and it is not partisan, now people say because we are not partisan that we cannot take political decisions but we normally take positions when it comes to political issues that affect the North.
"I know some people will ask why you people said you wanted zoning, that it is a PDP affair, our answer is that at the moment if you want to get power you cannot ignore the PDP, you cannot ignore the character of the presidential candidates.
"Nigeria is almost becoming a one party state and you want us to close our eyes to what is happening in such a party.
"Let me tell you, when they (PDP) were selling their forms, the party was able to raise N4 billion from just selling forms; you can see now that this is a party that can raise N4 billion from forms so it gives you the idea about the political party and why everybody is going there,"Sani said.
The ACF spokesman noted that the north will be more comfortable if all existing political parties in the country would reserve their presidential ticket for the north, which he believed would make it easier for the emergence of a northern president in 2011.