A group, Northern Consensus Movement, has said the North is ready for the separation of Nigeria, peradventure it happens.
In a viral video, the President of the group, Awwal Abdullahi Aliyu, however, said the North does not want the country to disintegrate.
Aliyu, in his speech, implied that the age-long zoning system should not be considered in the selection of a new president but rather, characteristics of a true leader.
He highlighted credibility, competency, patriotism, nationalistic thinking, “the love for one another among other things, not regional, tribal, ethnical, or any other thing."
Meanwhile, the introduction of the zoning system into Nigeria political space was to aid the smooth rotation of key political positions across the country. This policy was to achieve fairness, peace and equitable distribution of resources.
Even President Muhammadu Buhari is in office on account of zoning as Presidency was zoned to the North ahead of the 2015 general elections after former President Goodluck Jonathan was considered by a large section of the North to have cheated the region when he contested in 2011 following the death of then President Umaru Yar’Adua in office.
Aliyu further condemned the perceived criminalisation of some ethnic groups and religion in Nigeria, stating that if one ethnic group is tagged a threat, every Nigerian is equally a threat to the peace and stability of the country.
He said, The part away from Korea breaking to the South and North Korea to the Western and Eastern Germany to Cameroon here that you have the English and the French parts that are trying to go away, you know what is going on so for anyone to be calling for war or you think you can just separate is not easy (sic).
”I believe in Nigeria, I believe Nigeria will continue to exist. Whether we like it or not, there is a problem, we need to discuss the problem. We are disagreeing with one another and we have every reason to disagree.
“The North, before now was saying we don't believe in separation but as I am standing, I am telling you if there is going to be separation tomorrow, the North is ready for it. We are also ready, let's go our separate ways and I'm telling you this with all sincerity. Northern Nigeria before now did not want to hear anything separation but as of today, as I speak to you, the North is equally ready to leave.
”Talking about the presidency, what I'm going to say might be controversial, you might disagree with it but it is the absolute reality and I am speaking the minds of northerners and I have no apology to anyone in this hall on what I am going to say though I respect the leaders, elders and fathers that are here, I duly respect them but I have no apology to anybody on what I'm going to say.
“Talking about the rotational presidency, what I thought we should be looking at is credibility, competency, patriotism, nationalistic thinking, the love for one another and things like that, that's what I thought should constitute who becomes Nigeria's president, not regional, tribal, ethnical, or any other thing.
“Let us discuss the controversy and find a solution. This is my position, this is the position of northern Nigerians. Let us look at competence, credibility, patriotism, love for the country to move Nigeria forward.
“There should be room for discussion, call it National Conference, call it restructuring, call it whatever, I agree that we should come to a round table and discuss Nigeria and discuss the way forward for Nigeria. I agree that we are disagreeing, I agree that there is a problem and if you like, call it lop-sided appointments, I am not in government so I do not speak for the government, I speak for the North.
“If Buhari is doing something wrong, Nigerians should call his attention to it, that what he is doing is wrong. He is a Nigerian; he is a leader; he is elected by every Nigerian but not a particular tribe or region be (sic) seen as a threat to a country.
“If one region or tribe or religion is a threat to this country then all of us are threatening Nigeria and we are all threats to Nigeria. Then, let us come and discuss the problem, find the solution to the problem and let us move forward.”