2023: Northern Governors Declare Zoning of Presidency Unconstitutional

**Northern Governors meet at the Kaduna Government House on Monday Sept. 27.
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Governors of the 19 Northern states of Nigeria have opposed the call by their Southern counterparts that the South should produce the next president after Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.

This formed part of the resolutions reached on Monday when the governors held an emergency meeting with traditional rulers in the region at the Kaduna state Government House, in Kaduna.

Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, read out the communique containing the resolutions on behalf of his colleagues.

According to the governors, zoning the office of the President as being agitated by southern governors is against the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

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They stated that any president elected must meet the constitutional requirements which include scoring the majority votes, and polling at least 25 per cent of the votes cast in two-thirds of the 36 states of the Federation.

Governor Lalong noted that although some northern governors had endorsed power shift to the South, the regional governors collectively condemned such calls.

On the issue of Value Added Tax (VAT), the Northern governors said they are aware that the case is before the court, and it will amount to sub-judice to take a decision on the matter.

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The Forum, however, observed that VAT is being confused by 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 collapsed in interstate trade. VAT is not a production tax like excise, but terminal tax which is paid by the ultimate consumer.

“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,” the Communiqué added.

Credit: MetroWatch

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