2023: Candidate with majority votes’ll become Nigeria President, Northern Govs lambaste Southern colleagues
2023: Candidate with majority votes’ll become Nigeria President, Northern Govs lambaste Southern colleagues

Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State

The Northern States Governors’ Forum at an emergency meeting on Monday in Kaduna State said the candidate with majority votes would become Nigeria’s President in the 2023 elections.

The 19 Northern governors also condemned the insistence of their 17 Southern colleagues that a Southern President should succeed the incumbent Muhammadu Buhari after his eight-year regime in May 2023.

The northern governors made their position known in a statement issued at the end of the meeting and signed by the chairman of the Forum, Simon Lalong, who is also the Governor of Plateau State.

The meeting was also attended by Chairmen of Northern States Traditional Council led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Abubakar III.

Earlier reported that the Southern Governors led by Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, had met twice this year in Lagos and Enugu and had demanded that power should shift to the South in 2023 after the regime of Buhari, who is from Katsina State, North-West Nigeria.

But at the end of their meeting today, the Northern governors said the insistence of their Southern colleagues was not constitutional.

The statement was titled, ‘Resolutions Of The Northern States Governors’ Forum Meeting With Northern States Emirs And Chiefs Held On Monday 27th September, 2021’.

It partly read, “The Forum observed that some Northern States Governors had earlier expressed views for a power-shift to three Geo-Political Zone in the South with a view to promoting unity and peace in the Nation. Notwithstanding their comments, the Forum unanimously condemn the statement by the Southern Governors Forum that the Presidency must go to the South.

“The statement is quite contradictory with the provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) as amended that the elected President shall:- score the majority votes; score at least 25% of the votes cast in 2/3 States of the Federation.

“In the case of run-up simple majority win the election.”

Southern Govs confused on VAT The Northern governors also said their Southern colleagues were confused about the collection of Value Added Tax. The Southern governors had said states have the rights to collect their VAT.

But the Northern governors said, “VAT is being confused by these state governments as a sales tax. If every state enacted its own VAT Law, multiple taxation will result in increases of prices of goods and services and collapse in interstate trade. VAT is not a production tax like excise, but terminal tax which is paid by the ultimate consumer;

“Another confusion is ignoring observation above and its “overall effect”. The reason Lagos account for our 50% Vat collection is because most of the telecommunication companies, Banks, manufacturing and other trading activities have their headquarters in Lagos with the resultant and wrongful attribution of VAT

“Until and unless the Supreme Court pronounces judgement on the substantive matter between Rivers State and Federal Government, the matter is sub judice and Northern States Governors Forum would respect this.”

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