- The South East has stepped up agitation for a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction in 2023
By Constance EKE, Abuja
There are feelers that the quest by the South East zone, to produce Nigeria’s next President in 2023, within the ambit of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the All Progressive Congress, APC,may be a mirage.
The South East had lately stepped up agitation for the region to produce the nation’s president after the tenure of President Buhari ends in 2023.
This newspaper observed that the PDP may have foreclosed plans to zone the Presidency to the North, following strong indications that former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, will take another shot at the Presidency on the party’s platform in 2023.
The PDP top hierarchy is said to be contemplating zoning it’s presidential ticket to the North again, a development which may attract a backlash from the South, particularly from the South East, which has remained backbone of the opposition party for many years.
The PDP is firmly rooted in the South East, and more especially in the South South region, where all the six State governors in the region, are of the PDP.
Within the All Progressive Congress, APC, the party leadership and key players remain undecided, though there are strong agitations that the party would zone it’s presidential ticket to the South.
Party sources in Abuja told this newspaper that the party’s presidential candidate may eventually emerge from the South, as powerful forces within the party, are looking towards the direction of the South West, South South and South East zones to produce the party’s presidential candidate in 2023.
Another source however said no particular zone in the South will be zeroed for the presidential ticket of the party, it will be up for grabs by all the three zones that make up the region- the South South, the South East and the South West regions.
However, another powerful group within the party are insisting that the APC retains it’s presidential ticket in the North because the region holds the support base of the party.
This group is close to the powerful cabal who weild enormous power in Buhari’s presidency.
A top chieftain of the party told this newspaper in Abuja “The APC is undecided on which zone should get the presidential ticket. While a lot favour the South to produce presidential candidate of the party, we have to wait and watch the dynamics in the party between now and 2023.
“There is still time and we have to wait, to watch the body language of the President, who will play a major role to decide who succeeds him and where his successor will emerge from. For now, we are in a dilemma and it’s a waiting game. There is nothing cast on stone to guarantee that the South East will produce the presidential flagbearer of the APC in 2023.
” I agree that there is a gentleman agreement that power should rotate between the North and the South in the APC. We still have all the time to reevaluate such arrangement and explore it’s possibility and workability”he said.