The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF), has enjoined its people to reject any political party that does not zone the 2023 presidency to the Southern part of the country.
In a communique issued at the end of its meeting in Abuja, they declared support for the unity of the country anchored on equity, fairness, justice and principle of federalism.
The meeting, held on Thursday, had in attendance Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Leader of Afenifere (South West); Dr. Pogu Bitrus, President of the Middle Belt Forum (Middle Belt); Professor George Obiozor, President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo represented by the Secretary-General, Ambassador Okey Emuchay, (South-East); and Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, FNSE, National Chairman of Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF (South South).
The meeting also had in attendance some former governors and leaders from the zones.
The communique called on the people of Southern Nigeria and the Middle Belt region to reject any political party that failed to zone its presidential ticket to the South.
The communique advised political stakeholders from the Southern part of the country against aspirations or actions that would compromise the shared resolve of their people.
It lamented the worsening security challenges in the country, condemning the continued rates of kidnapping and killing of innocent citizens and destruction of livelihoods in parts of the country by terrorists and criminals in the North West, North East and Middle Belt region.
It condemned in strong terms, the continued massacre and decimation of the indigenous people in Zuru, Kebbi State, Southern Kaduna, Benue, Plateau and Southern Gombe and reiterated its call for State police.
The group called on the Federal Government to be proactive in its responsibility of protecting the lives and properties of citizens in the country.
It added that there was the need to safeguard all communities in the country, and the immediate return of displaced citizens to their ancestral homes.