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It is like our politicians especially in the southern part of Nigeria don’t yet understand how the politics of 2023 elections should be played. I observe that the long colonial and later military rules in the country, their use of force over the citizens and the resistance from the citizens at a point have created a lot of undemocratic tendencies in the citizenry.

Recently, after their several meetings, the Southern Governors Forum came up with a declaration that the next president of the nation must come from the south with a threat that they wouldn’t allow the north to hold on to power come 2023. For those who are familiar with the politics of Nigeria, one can be tempted to say that they are asking for a legitimate right. For example, the current Nigerian president is a northerner and he actually took over from a southern president. Unfortunately, the Nigerian Constitution is silent about rotational presidency and one expects our Governors, among whom are senior lawyers, to note and know this.

In their reaction, The Northern Governors Forum recently had a meeting where it countered its southern counterpart. The Northern forum insisted that the issue of rotationalism is alien to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It declared that the next president will come from the north. To make it worse, both fora (forums) have been backed by their politicians, opinion generators, agitators and different segregation groups. But studying their communique very well, one will discover that what the northern governors are saying is “negotiate your position with us”.

This point must always be made: In democracy, number is sacrosanct. Democracy

still remain the government of the people by the people and for the people and It is a generally accepted fact that in democracy, the majority will always have their ways while the minority will be allowed to have their says. And this is what the Northern politicians want to explore. But a wise minority can have its way but not by any undemocratic utterance or action. It will go deep into the majority, have friends within the majority and ask for what it wants. It is only a few politicians from the South who are doing this presently and the leading figure is Asiwaju Amed Bola Tinubu.

Currently in Nigeria, the total registered voters in all the six geopolitical zones are as follows:

SOUTH EAST                      
Abia 1,481,191
Anambra 1,758,220
Enugu 1,301,185
Imo 1,611,715
Ebonyi 876,249
TOTAL 7,028,560

Lagos 6,247,845
Ogun 1,869,326
Osun 1,293,967
Ondo 1,588,975
Ekiti 750,753
Oyo 2,577,490
TOTAL 14,298,356

Governor of Ondo Stat, ROtimi Akeredolu

Edo 1,412;225
Delta 1,900,055
Bayelsa 472,389Akwa Ibom 1,714,781
RIvers 2,419,057
C/Rivers 1,018,550
TOTAL 8,937,057
Benue 1,415,162
Kogi 1,215,405

Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong

Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong

Kwara 1,115,665
Nassarawa 1,224,206
Niger 721,478
Plateau 1,983,453
TOTAL 7,675,369

Adamawa 1,714,860
Bauchi 1,835,562
Borno 2,730,368
Gombe 1,266,993
Taraba 1,308,106
Yobe 1,182,230
TOTAL 10,038,119

Jigawa 1,852,698
Kano 5,135,415
Katsina 2,931,668
Kaduna 3,565,762
Kebbi 1,603,468
Sokoto 2,065,508
Zamfara 1,746,024
TOTAL 18,900,543

Grand Total – 66,878,004

(culled from Google search)

From the above data, the southern part of the country has 30,263,973 registered voters while the northern part has 36,614,031. The North has over six millions voters above its southern part. The bulk of northern registered voters comes from the North West while the bulk of the southern registered voters comes from the South West. Politics is played like Chess and Draft games. A good politician will look at the fixed and variable factors of the above data and then see what he/she can do to achieve his/her target. For example, a visionary politicians will work tediously on having large votes from the North West and South West. Just sitting down in a room and issuing demands and threats can only succeed in a banana republic.

But what we have seen the Southern politicians doing presently is not the best politics that will help them achieve their aims. Getting votes is a serious job that demands opening discussions with their northern brothers and sisters. The discussions will also mean that they will negotiate their positions and negotiation in politics entails “give and take”. You cannot always have your ways in negotiation. One of their position should be that rotationalism should be inserted into the Constitution so that there will always be peace and tranquility in the country.

The southern politicians are very right in asking for rotation of the office of president but this can only be achieved in the party politics. Those in the various political parties must befriend others in their parties and negotiate with them. If really the southern leaders are serious about their positions, they must know that their negotiation will affect some of their recent actions and must go to the table with stronger and higher arguments.

We must be aware that Nigeria can only be split into different units when all of us by simple majority concur; it won’t happen by use of force, killings of ourselves, issuing threats, maligning the names of those we perceive as enemies of the southerners.

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  1. Ogungbade funmilola olajumoke says:

    Thank you for educating us.

  2. Anuoluwa says:

    Politics in Nigeria has always been do or die affair and I think that is the only language they understand. Nigerians are never ready for a new dimension in their so call politics game. Still waiting for the messiah o! Southerners are slumbers, I wonder when their sleep will be terminated.

  3. […] my last write-up on Rotational Presidency and 2023 Elections, I was focusing on how politicians can play the game of politics in ways to benefit them. I wrote […]

  4. Femi Olalekan-James says:

    The matters arising on rotational Presidency does not hold any goodwill for the ordinary Nigerians on the street. Obasanjo was president for 8 years, Agege to Abeokuta road was not done. Politicians played politics with an important road as Ibadan express road. In short, the south, especially SOUTHWEST was worse off during those 8 years of Obasanjo Presidency. Ask South South people if their per capita income became better during the reign of Ebele Jonathan. Your guess is as good as mine. My opinion is that we restructure so that the centre becomes unattractive and then it will no longer matter where the next President comes from. Let’s empower the state’s and Local governments by devolving power. What we need in the next President come 2023 is not wether he is from the North or the South. Can he THINK like AWOLOWO? Does he possess the intellectual capacity to negotiate a great future for our country when he sits at the table with world powers, just like Kagame of Rwanda. Can he attract the best of Nigerian egg heads? Does he have what it takes to put them to productive use? I hope and pray that he will not be a man like Tinubu who has gain so much unwholesome but stupendous wealth and wants POWER as an ICING ON THE CAKE.

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