By G9ija

As the 2023 general elections approach, a coalition of socio-political groups, Southern Mandate Group (SMG) have declared their willingness to gather support for the Minister of Transportation, Chief Chibuike Amaechi, to take over the seat of Government of the Federal Republic as President after Muhammadu Buhari.

According to them, his experiences in leadership across various administrative positions, recommend him for the nation’s political top job.

Rising from their emergency meeting in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital on Wednesday, the CSO’s drawn from the 11 states in the South-South and Southeast declared that the former Rivers’ governor has all the credentials to succeed the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, in 2023.

Addressing Newsmen after the meeting, stakeholders of the group led by the President-General, Comrade Chibuikem Asuzu and the National Secretary, Comrade Patrick Jasper Uduefe, endorsed Amaechi, as “a befitting aspirant for the job”.

“Having studied his performance in various positions as the two-term Speaker of the Rivers state House of Assembly; governor for two terms; Chairman Nigeria’s Governors Forum; Minister for over six years, we in the coalition of Southern CSOs have declared and affirmed support for Mr Amaechi.

“We have resolved that the Southern block should ensure that someone who has the capacity with inner love for the development of the country and capable of fostering national cohesion should be supported to lead the country”, Asuzu said.

According to him, it was time for the electorates to “rise above petty sentiments of ethnicity, nepotism and other discriminatory factors, to sustain the tempo of developments as engineered by President Buhari since 2015”.

“We are staunchly in support of Amaechi and our hope is the Presidency be zoned to Southern Nigeria in the greater interest of equity, fair play and justice”.

“As far as Nigeria’s unity is concerned, Amaechi has demonstrated his disposition to the oneness and unity of Nigeria through his advocacies concerning the indivisibility of Nigeria.

“During his era as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Amaechi did not run the forum as his personal estate but used the platform effectively to unite all political parties and groups for the larger national interests.

“It was during this period that all the governors on the platform of all political parties had to bury every political sentiment for the unity and peace of the country, irrespective of any political affiliations.

“As a Minister since 2015, Amaechi’s record of performance is outstanding. He has been able to connect Nigeria from Abuja down South with rail lines crisscrossing the major cities in Nigeria.

The Minister has distinguished himself in every national assignment within his office by helping President Buhari to achieve important milestones in national development by ensuring major aspects of the government policies and programmes were implemented”, he stressed,

Asuzu, who commended President Buhari for ensuring the unity of Nigeria amid pockets of security breaches in parts of the country, assured that “Amaechi will consolidate and bring total peace and unity in Nigeria”.

“Amaechi is a strong nationalist with total devotion to fixing the country by consolidating on President Buhari”, he added and vowed to set aside a day for a peaceful rally to impress the Minister to run in 2023.

“We will soon come up with a date for all well-meaning Nigerians desiring peace, development and unity through good governance to demonstrate for the Minister of Transportation, a true son of the South, to fly Nigeria’s flag in 2023”, he stressed.