The National Chairman of the United Progressive Party (UPP), Chief Chekwas Okorie, has said the idea of a northern president in 2023 will not fly.
According to him, the arrangement for rotational presidency in Nigerian politics had become conventional even though qualified citizens from all parts of the country were entitled to run for the nation’s top job each election circle.
It would be recalled that Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai had suggested that zoning of political offices based on region should be de-emphasised because Nigeria could not continue on that path.
Reacting in a press statement on Monday, Okorie said: “I have always had the position that Nigeria does not have constitution that has provided for rotation of power. But, at the same time, the rotational arrangement has become conventional. It is that rotational convention that made it easier for President Buhari to defeat a sitting president in 2015 because 2015 was widely perceived as the turn of a northerner to become president. Since President Buhari towered above every other person from the North, he won.
“In the build up to 2019, the UPP as a party – the party I lead – we knew that any person running for president from the South would be swimming against the tide. So, we decided to allow the North to complete its eight years, by not fielding a candidate for the presidential election, and that was what happened.
“It is that same convention that Nigeria would observe by 2023. Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop any person from the North wishing to run, but the person will never be able to win the presidential election. Such persons will be like those southerners who ran in 2019 and never stood any chance of winning.
“Owing to the fact that it is not a law, anybody can run. The likes of El-Rufai can run, if they wish to do so. But, if El-Rufai is able to win Kaduna State, he should thank his stars. Buhari with all his qualities and following in the “North was not able to win on three previous occasions. But when Nigerians said it is the turn of the North, forces came together to mobilise support for him. In the South, the Southwest especially played a key role in making sure that he won.
“If for anything, the contest for leadership in 2023 will be between the Southwest and the Southeast. But, if equity has anything to do with politics, it should be the turn of the Southeast, considering the fact that the region has not produced any elected leader since independence.
“Anybody who believes that the next president would come from the North, based on what El-Rufai is insinuating, is indulging in wishful thinking. I can tell you categorically that the idea of a northern president in 2023 will not fly.”
2023: Ex-Reps Speaker Na’Abba Gives Condition To Support Igbo Presidency
A former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ghali Umar Na’Abba, says zoning and rotational presidency have not helped the nation and should be discarded.
He said that the nation’s past experiments with zoning have proved ineffective as a way of engendering development in the states that have produced the president since 1999.
However, Na’Abba noted that the north was not insisting on retaining power at the expiration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term.
Reacting to the clamour for Igbo presidency, the Kano State indigene said he would only support a South East presidential candidate that demonstrates competence and tolerance to hold the office.
“The North is not insisting on producing the next president.
“Personally, I have a long time ago taken the decision not to support the presidential ambition of anybody on account of his/her place of birth, whether it is the North or the South.
“This phenomenon has not helped all the states that produced our four presidents since 1999. If anything, the office is only enjoyed by the cronies of these presidents.
“If you ask the average Bayelsa man or Katsina man or Ogun man, they will all tell you that they are not better off today than they were before the presidency went to their states. I very much support the idea of a president from the Southeast, but he has to convince me that he has the competence, capability, capacity, tolerance, acceptance, consideration and empathy necessary for me to entrust him with myself and my family. And it will be the same if the person would come from Kano,” Na’Abba told Sunday Sun.
Kneel All You Want, Your Candidate Will Lose — Shaibu Mocks Oshiomhole
Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu has said that no amount of kneeling will save former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and the party’s candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu from disgrace in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state.
Shaibu is the running mate to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the election and incumbent Governor, Godwin Obaseki.
Recall that Oshiomhole over the weekend knelt to apologise to Edo people for supporting Obaseki in the 2016 election.
But speaking during a campaign tour of Etsako West LGA on Wednesday, Shaibu described Oshiomhole’s action as a stunt which the good people of Edo would not fall for.
He explained that the September 19 election would be issue-based, not focused on tantrums by any individual.
“No amount of kneeling stunt will save the former national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, and his candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, from defeat,” he stated.
According to him, the forthcoming election was a watershed that would determine the future of Edo people and their unborn children.
He added that it was not a time to think about pecuniary gains and egos of wannabe godfathers.
Obaseki Has No Opponent In Edo — Wike
Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike has boasted the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the forthcoming Edo governorship election Governor Godwin Obaseki has no opponent.
Speaking on a live programme on Wednesday, Wike said the people of Edo already knew the type of candidate the All Progressives Congress (APC) presented to them following what Adams Oshiomhole said about him four years ago.
Wike, in a statement by his Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, said: “Such a character cannot be accepted by Edo people as Governor during the election.
“I respect the Benin tradition and I know that Edo people are educated to know that Oshiomhole cannot play on their intelligence.
“If he is now retracting what he said of Ize Iyamu, who is sure that he’s saying the correct thing now.
“Adams Oshiomole’s sudden u- turn is a great insult on Edo people. This is an opportunity for Edo people both at home and in the diaspora to use their votes to tell Oshiomole they cannot take his lies anymore.
“From all indications, it is obvious that there is no strong opposition against Obaseki and he will win convincingly”.
Wike, who is chairman of the PDP National Campaign Council, stated he and his team accepted the responsibility to lead the campaign because they are satisfied with results coming out already from Edo State.
Wike said the PDP had continued to take steps in strengthening the nation’s democracy with the promotion of internal politics and resolving conflict of interests of members to achieve common goals.
He said the success recorded by the PDP in conducting free and fair party primaries in Edo state was evidence of the internal democracy in the party.
The governor said all the aspirants decided to work together to support the candidature of Obaseki
He said: “It was not easy to have a sole candidate for the party in Edo state. People thought there will be problems, given the fact that Obaseki was coming from another Party.
“But Party members who are grounded and believe in the Party didn’t see any sacrifice too much to make.
“Even in Ondo State, the former Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi who decamped to PDP contested keenly during the primaries and lost . If there are other pending issues in the South West, be sure that the Party will resolve them.
“That is exactly what Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as the chairman of South-South States’ Governors had done.
“He is making sure that we are all on the same page to ensure that all states in the South-South are controlled by PDP”.
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