Prof. Jonah Onuoha has said that the rotation of the presidency between the Northern and Southern parts of the country is unwritten law that is in practice since 1999.
Onuoha, the Head of Department of Political Science, University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Nsukka on Wednesday.He was reacting to the outcome of Monday’s Southern Governors Forum meeting held in Lagos and its endorsement of rotation.
He said that the position of governors that in 2023 general elections the president of the country should come from the South was in line with the rotation of presidency in the country since 1999.
“If you check the record, since 1999 the presidency has been rotating between the South and North.”
“Rotating presidency is unwritten law that is in practice Nigeria since 1999. Anybody in Nigeria who wants to disrupt this rotation is not only unpatriotic but enemy of democracy in Nigeria,” he said.
Onuoha said the popular definition of democracy globally remains “Government of the people, by the people and for the people”.
According to him, this is because democracy is the only form of government that gives the people sense of belonging, equal participation, fairness and justice.
“It’s these sense of belonging, equal participation, fairness and justice that drive true democracy globally, “he said.
The don applauded Southern governors for coming together in order to move the region forward irrespective of their tribe, religion or political party affiliations.
“This is an indication that the country’s democracy is growing, a situation where politicians will put their tribal, religious and political differences aside to pursue a common course that will foster peace and unity.”
The political scientist urged Northern Governors Forum to endorse the position of their counterparts from the south hence it would help to strengthen democracy as well as cement the unity of the country.
“As the governors in the South have taken this decision irrespective of their tribe, religion or political party affiliations, the Northern governors should endorse it for the sake of national interest and deepening of the country’s democracy.” The don, however, urged National Assembly to add the rotation of presidency between the North and South in the ongoing amendment of the country’s constitution.
“The National Assembly should use the opportunity of the ongoing constitution amendment to enshrine eight years presidency rotation between the North and South in the constitution,” he said.