Six North Central states, comprising of Kogi, Plateau, Niger, Kwara, Benue, Nasarawa, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have protested what they have described as the continuous political marginalisation of the region and the South East.
Addressing reporters in Abuja on Tuesday, members of the North Central Renaissance Movement (NCRM), drawn from the six states and the FCT, said since the beginning of the Fourth Republic in 1999, North Central and South East have not had a fair share of the political fortunes of the country.
Chairman of the group Nghargbu K’tso and secretary, Aliyu Mustapha, while making a strong case for North Central specifically, said, the zone has not produced a President or a Vice since 1999.
They argued that it was only fair for them to be allowed to field candidates by the major political parties in order to produce a President of North Central extraction.
‘North Central and the South East are still at zero years in terms of access and ascension to the two top offices in the Presidency,’ K’tso stated.
‘It is thus our contention, as it should be that of any politically astute person, that in the run-up to 2023, all political parties must be acutely alive and responsive to the demands of social justice within the context of the realities shaping up now to determine the 2023 Presidential race.
‘As permutations for 2023 start to coalesce, it is our belief that equity must be done to all sections of this country
by correcting historical imbalances that engender pain and frustration among all, or a section of the populace.
‘In line with our dataset above, we have demonstrated that there is hardly a more politically excluded, and disgruntled, GPZ in today’s Nigeria than the North Central.
‘The exclusion revealed by this data, when weighed against the North Central’s contributions to the sociopolitical stability of the party, the North and indeed, the whole country, is enough to raise questions of her value as a “co-equal” team player and ally in the North, and in the Nation.
‘Likewise, politically, we in the North Central have always stood shoulder to shoulder with our kindred in the North West and North East in all elections as staunchly as differences in political parties will allow, supporting their Presidential Candidates as ours.
‘Congress, therefore, resolved that now is the time to request for the same support from our brother GPZs in the North for a North Central Presidential run in 2023. It is one practical way of reassuring us that we are not mere adjuncts but bonafide stakeholders in the One North project, fully entitled in our own rights to aspire and run for the two top leadership positions in this Country.
‘It is on this premise that we, the North Central Renaissance Movement (NCRM) demand in the interest of fairness, equity and justice that the Office of President of Nigeria be ceded to the North Central.
‘Further, and with all love and respect for all our compatriots, we insist that our claims are superior, being the most marginalised in the history of civilian/democratic occupancy of the Office of President and Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, since Independence.
‘We, therefore, respectfully demand that the North Central, our Geopolitical Zone, receive accommodation and support from all the others in her quest to produce the next Nigerian President in 2023.’