The North 4 North support group for Atiku Abubakar claims that the south-east deserves to provide the presidential candidate in 2023.
According to a statement released on Monday by Mohammed Garba, the group’s national coordinator, and Abubakar Sanni, the group’s secretary, the south-east is the only region that has not had a president elected since 1999.
The group said they had backed Abubakar, the former vice president, in previous elections but had persuaded him to step down in favor of a younger candidate.
“Nigeria does not need more of the old, but a switch to the new, in order for paradigm shift in the management of affairs,” the statement reads.
“The old ways have not worked and it is time for complete turnaround of our fortunes and this will not happen if we limit ourselves by choosing from those who have tasted power before.
“We have promoted Atiku’s candidature for years, but we humbly call on the former vice-president to do us good in return for the many good returns we have done for him.
“We have sacrificed a lot pushing for the presidency of Atiku Abubakar all these years, even though we have been abandoned by him after each election cycle. It is time for him to project national interest outside of his need to become president.
“At almost 80 years, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar does not have enough in the tank to put in the high level of physical and mental efforts required to fix Nigeria.
“We equally call on other aspirants who are old to leave the field and allow for young and vibrant candidates to emerge and take the reins of power in 2023.
“We must give all parts of Nigeria a chance to become president of the country, or we might slide dangerously into the narratives of divisionist enemies of the state who will have a ready recruitment pool from among disgruntled groups.
“Only one region in Nigeria has not been given a chance to take the presidency of Nigeria and it is only fair that in 2023, almost a quarter of a century into our current democratic system, the south-east is reminded that they are just as Nigerians as the rest of us.
“Fairness and equity are the major ingredients for sustainability of any society as history has clearly shown, and Nigeria can be no exception to this clear and present rule of nation building. When a society begins to deviate from the principle of fairness and equity, it declines and slides down the rabbit hole of oblivion.
“The presidency cannot also afford to go to an older candidate, considering the enormity of the demands of the job in the 21st century, where there are series of factors playing into a tectonic shift in economic centres of gravity, coupled with the many challenges confronting Nigeria that require a proactive person with energy to cope with the rigours of office.
“The south-east deserves the presidency of Nigeria come 2023, and we must narrow down our focus to searching for the best candidate from the region rather than allowing the public discourse space to be crowded by cacophony of distraction that will end up robbing us of the very best of us.”