The Northern Interests Coalition has described the northern governors who are in support of having a southerner emerge as the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress as traitors.
On Saturday, the APC Northern Governors Forum, in a statement, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to pick a Southern aspirant as his successor.
The governors who signed the statement include Bello Masari, Katsina; Nasir El-Rufai, Kaduna; Atiku Bagudu, Kebbi; Simon Lalong, Plateau; Abdullahi Ganduje, Kano; Bello Matawalle, Zamfara; Inuwa Yahaya, Gombe; Babagana Zulum, Borno; Sani Bello, Niger; and Abdullahi Sule, Nasarawa.
The statement reads partly, “We, therefore, wish to strongly recommend to President Muhammadu Buhari that the search for a successor as the APC’s presidential candidate be limited to our compatriots from the southern states.
“We appeal to all aspirants from the northern states to withdraw in the national interest and allow only the aspirants from the south to proceed to the primaries…”
Reacting in a statement on Saturday, the Chairman of the Northern Interests Coalition, Malam Umar Gazali, declared that people in the North have rejected the decision of the governors for betraying the North.
The coalition accused the governors of conspiring against the North for their selfish interests.
It noted, “It has come to our notice the desperate activities of some Northern governors who, because of their selfish interests to emerge as Vice President, have decided to pressure President Muhammadu Buhari to endorse a Southern presidential candidate for the APC. This is a direct assault against Northern interests and these governors must be stopped fast.
“After power has been in the South that produced president for 14 years and Vice President for 11 years which is cumulatively 25 years. It is not only unjust but also unjustifiable that our governors will be conspiring against the North to lose power after only 8 years of the Buhari presidency.”
The coalition described the decision of the Northern governors to endorse a presidential candidate from Southern Nigeria as a self-centred agenda, which it vowed would be resisted.
“The only thing is that we advise the governors allegedly involved in this evil plot to desist immediately. The president must not only ignore them but refuse to be confused by these betrayers of the North.
“The eleven Northern Governors have betrayed the North for their selfish interests. We condemn their actions in the strongest possible terms and once again we urge the president to ignore them completely.
“This is not a mere allegation. The statement made by these eleven betrayers of Northern interests in this respect is in the public domain as released and signed by them today recommending to the president that the search for his successor be limited to the South. This is undemocratic and injurious to the interests of the North and must not be allowed to stand,” the coalition said.