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2023: Southern leaders warn North against dumping zoning

The controversy over the alleged witch-hunt of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo ahead of the 2023 Presidency by a pro-North group in the Presidency is far from over as prominent leaders of the South-West, South-South and South-East have lent their voices to the matter.

They are a leader of the pan-Yoruba sociopolitical group, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo; elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark; and a former governor of Anambra State, Chukwuemeka Ezeife.

They spoke just as other groups from the South also queried the motive behind the cabal’s action. They are the Yoruba Council of Elders, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the Ijaw Youth Congress

President Muhammadu Buhari during week replaced the Economic Management Team headed by Osinbajo with the Economic Advisory Council.

The seven-member EAC headed by Prof Doyin Salami is to report directly to the President. There are also reports Osinbajo has been directed to henceforth seek clarifications before taking major decision on the agencies he supervises.

The moves have been seen by many as actions deliberately taken by the cabal to reduce the influence of the VP ahead of the 2023 presidential election.

This is coming barely two months after Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State said there was a need for the country to drop zoning in future elections, including the 2023 presidency to enable the country to have a competent leader.

While Adebanjo warned that the North should not be trusted, Clark and the IYC said it would only be right for power to return to the South at the expiration of Buhari’s tenure.

Clark, who said he was not going to comment on any issue about Osinbajo, said, “I do not want to talk about the Vice President because he has been dancing to their tune. All I want to say is that in 2023, the South-East will have it. However, when I am ready to speak on it, I will let you know.”

Speaking along the same line, the President of the IYC, Mr Eric Omare, said going by an unwritten power rotational agreement between the North and the South, it would be dishonourable for northern leaders to attempt to project one of theirs own for the 2023 presidential election.

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