2023 Presidency: Northern Power Blocs Seek Amicable Resolution Of Agitations
The insistence of the South to produce the country’s next president appears to have thrown the Northern political elite into a flurry of meetings on how best to negotiate an acceptable outcome that will keep Nigeria intact before and after 2023 amid feelings of marginalisation in the South.
Across political persuasions, influential voices in the North, Sunday Independent learnt, are split over the best approach to resolving the agitation for Southern presidency.
The Northern leaders, it was gathered, are weighing some factors that could make or break the union if not brilliantly tackled at this most tense moment of the nation’s history but there has been no agreement so far.
Even among the major political parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), negotiators are rumoured to have run into a brick wall.
Findings by Sunday Independent revealed that the APC is determined not to lose power in 2023, while the PDP is also determined to wrest power from the ruling party.
Investigations also revealed that two Northern blocs may have emerged, with these two blocs divided over what criterion should determine the candidate that would get their (northern) support.
While a group is singing the equity song, insisting that for Nigeria to become cohesive again, they should back a candidate from the South-East, the other insists that for Nigeria to recover from the destabilization of the past six years, a charismatic and capable candidate from any zone should get their backing.
An Abuja-based political analyst, Abdullahi Gimba, in a chat with our correspondent, said he believes that the APC and PDP are waiting on each other to elect the preferred candidates.
“I think both the APC and PDP are playing a kind of hide and seek game. From the look of things, it is likely that the APC will go towards the south to pick its flag bearer, and from all indications, PDP will likely head towards the north.
“You know the agitation everywhere now is that it is the turn of the south-east because since 1999, they have never been given an opportunity. But the argument now is, to which of the two main parties has the south-east contributed most, it is the PDP.
“But if you ask me, I will tell you that the PDP won’t look the way of the south-east because the party’s power brokers believe that they can only win the election with a candidate from the north.
“And for the APC, I want to believe that the APC power brokers will respect the gentleman’s agreement they had at the party’s formation stage. The ticket will likely go to the south and it will likely go to the south-west. You know the south-east have not contributed much to the APC and so I don’t see them as part of the APC plan,” Gimba said.
Lagos State APC Publicity Secretary in an interview said the APC is looking at a situation whereby at the appropriate time, the presidency will be zoned.
According to him, “It is a matter of conscience, morality and principle. It is a matter of gentlemanly agreement at the inception of this party, that the presidency should come to the South and zero down to the South-West.
“Whatever number of aspirants may come from the South-West for the presidency, I don’t think it is going to change anything about our expectations.”
When asked if zoning was part of APC Constitution, Oladejo said, “There are a lot of things that you don’t necessarily have to put in the constitution of a party. But they are just things that you want to believe that based on certain understanding, it will happen.
“I am not just having this conversation, a whole lot of prominent people in the party are in government, even those old enough have been able to make the situation very clear that zoning is the right and appropriate thing to do.”
Speaking on the chances of the south-east getting the APC presidential ticket, the Lagos APC spokesman explained that, “As a matter of fact, if PDP would want to lay any claim to integrity, fair play and justice, the PDP presidential ticket should be zoned to the South-East.
“Since 1999, the South- East has been very loyal and committed to the course of the PDP. Until the likes of Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State crossover to APC and despite that, we can safely conclude that South-East is a region for PDP.
“I think if you have certain expectations regarding some high offices, it also behooves that we should play the right politics to be able to earn it. Power is never served a la carte, you earn it by working for it.
“So, if there is a party that should by right, consider the South-East, it should be PDP. You will agree with me that in the South-West ably led by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, we contributed greatly to wrestling the power from the then ruling party.
“So, we would expect as a matter of right that the presidential ticket should be zoned to the South West. We have earned it.”
Source:- Independent Ng