Real reason why Northern govs supported southern presidency, by Lalong
The Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, has said northern governors of the All Progressives Congress did not necessarily have the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, in mind when they supported power shift to the South.
Lalong, who served as the Director-General of Tinubu’s Presidential Campaign Organisation, said their push for southern presidency was to promote the unity, peace and stability of Nigeria within the spirit of fairness, equity and justice which the late Premier of the Northern Region, Sir Ahmadu Bello, stood for.
Lalong spoke at the ninth Annual Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Lecture on Leadership and Good Governance held in Lafia, Nasarawa State, on Saturday, a statement issued by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Macham Makut said.
He stated, “When I led my colleagues, the northern governors, to push for power shift to the South, it was not because we wanted Asiwaju to be President. Rather, we wanted to ensure that justice and fairness prevails in our nation for the unity, peace and harmony. That is what we believe our revered father of blessed memory Sir Ahmadu Bello would do in such circumstances. Fortunately, the party delegates chose Asiwaju who was eventually accepted by Nigerians as he was unanimously elected.”
Lalong urged Nigerians both in the North and across the country to support the President-elect as he takes on the mantle of leadership.
The governor noted that because the late Sardauna lived a life of accommodation, tolerance, justice and fairness, his legacies had endured long after his demise.
He said the North remained an important stakeholder in the Nigerian project and that the region’s contributions towards his election could not be over-emphasised.
He said, “The northern region needs serious attention in various sectors ranging from security to education, infrastructure, agriculture, economic revival and restoration of law and order in various areas that have been ravaged by insecurity. It is heartening to note that the Northern Governors Forum under my leadership has done a great deal of work on bringing our people together as one people with one a common destiny.”
Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, said it was a privilege for his state to host the event that reminds the region and the nation about the values Sardauna lived and died for.
He said although there had been challenges in the country after the demise Bello, some progress had been made, which could be built upon to make the northern region and Nigeria a better place.
Speaking on the topic ‘2023 elections as panacea for search for quality leadership in Nigeria’, popular Kenyan professor of law, Patrick Lumumba, said the late Sardauna left behind several lessons for politicians, including his selflessness and sacrifice for the general good.
He said the question of unity and cohesion in Nigeria particularly after the 2023 general elections could not be over-emphasised because Nigeria plays a very key role in the stability of Africa being a giant in all ramifications.
The President Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), in a message delivered by Chief of Staff, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, said it was important for Nigerians to devote more attention to recruiting quality leaders capable of steering the nation in the right direction.
He also said the process of elections should also be looked at and continuously improved upon to ensure that those who serve the people have their mandate and enjoy their support.
The Emir of Lafia, Sidi Bage, said the lecture series was an opportunity to reflect on the dreams of Sardauna but also a way of putting critical national and regional issues on the front burner.