The recent endorsement of the candidacy of Mr Peter Obi by the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) for the 2023 presidential election has received the backing of the NEO AFRICANA CENTRE (NAC). The public policy think tank threw its weight behind the endorsement, citing competence, equity, justice and fairness as the major reasons for its stand.
Recall that SMBLF led by South South leader, Chief Edwin Clark, had in an extraordinary meeting in Abuja last week, endorsed Obi for the February 25 presidential poll, describing him as the rock upon which Nigeria will stand. NAC said that the endorsement by SMBLF is in line with the mood of the nation at this time. The Centre said Nigeria does not just need a president but someone who has the competence and passion for the job. It also holds that equity, justice and fairness are on the side of Peter Obi as he hails from the southern geopolitical zone that deserves the presidency at this time.
In a statement by its Director of Public Affairs, Mr Jenkins Udu, NAC said that the Obi mandate is the breath of fresh air that will renew and re-energize Nigeria. It also noted that Obi’s enviable track record as the governor of Anambra State, his sense of mission and vision as well as his prudence and transparency in governance are worthy of emulation.
Part of the statement reads: “We have taken a dispassionate look at the submission of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum on the candidacy of Mr Peter, the presidential standard bearer of the Labour Party, and are glad to associate ourselves with their sense of patriotism. It is only those who want Nigeria to survive that pay attention to matters of equity and justice. We salute the courage of the elder statesmen in SMBLF who recognize the urgent need to salvage Nigeria and save it from the clutches of nation-wreckers. We urge other Nigerians who are still being hostage by primordial tendencies to borrow a leaf from the sense of justice, equity and fairness that SMBLF has exhibited.
NAC said further that Peter Obi’s credentials for the job of the president of Nigeria are unassailable as he stands poles apart from the rest of the breed jostling for the number one position.
The statement further reads: “Beyond integrity, there is every need to support the south east geopolitical zone to attain the presidency. It is trite logic to say that the south west and South South have had their turns at the presidency. The south east should also take its turn for reasons of inclusion, cohesiveness and national unity.
“It is on the strength of this that we are advocating for power shift to the south. After eight years of Muhammadu Buhari, a northerner, it is only natural that the south should take its turn. Any arrangement that negates this principle of rotation will certainly not augur well for the peace, progress and stability of the country.”