While the issue is still generating controversy, there are key factors that will work against the Northern Governors Forum after it rejected power shift to he South. This is based on political realities on ground and other political calculations along regional and party lines ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
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Rotational Presidency is unconstitutional but it has been practiced over the years based on mutual agreement irrespective of the party in power. During the reign of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the South produced Olusegun Obasanjo as President. He ruled for eight years between 1999 and 2007. After that, power shifted to the North as Umaru Musa Yar'Adua was elected President. His death changed a lot of things as his Vice President, Goodluck Jonathan, took over and ruled for some years. But, power was returned to the North in 2015 as General Muhammadu Buhari was elected President. Now, all attention has shifted to returning power to South in 2023 since Buhari would be completing his second term then. This factor will work against the Northern Governors Forum.
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Also, the ruling APC is planning to zone its presidential ticket to South in 2023. From all indications, APC is planning to give its ticket to South in the interest of power shift after the North has ruled for two terms. It means that the ruling party backs the idea that the Southern Governors support. Wise enough, APC stated that it would adopt a consensus candidate which will make things easier once it zones its presidential ticket to the South in 2023.
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Moreover, many of the Northern Governors have individually backed power shift to the South. Some of them include Nasir El-Rifai (Kaduna State), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano State), Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa State), Babagana Zulum (Borno State) among others. Also, some former Governors, former Senators and serving Senators from the North have openly backed the South to produce the next President in 2023. As admitted by Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, some of these Northern Governors and other top politicians would still follow their minds irrespective of the decision taken by the Northern Governors Forum as an umbrella body on the issue. In fact, this will happen when the APC as a party eventually gives its ticket to the South. The North has more APC Governors and Senators who will support the party on this issue.
Finally, the alleged gentlemen agreement between Buhari and Tinubu will work against the forum. This issue made headlines after it was revealed that Buhari had a gentlemen agreement to hand over power to Tinubu in 2023. Well, ahead of 2023, many individuals and groups have started mobilizing for Tinubu.
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Also, Tinubu and Buhari have remained allies to the extent that the President may keep the agreement as many forces in APC including some top Northern Governors in the ruling party seem to be supporting the former Lagos Governor. Tinubu is from the South and he may get the APC. This gentlemen agreement between Buhari and Tinubu will work against the position taken by Northern Governors Forum.
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