There is no doubt that where the presidential candidates of both the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the major opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are picked would play a crucial role in electing President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
In the last few months, some actors within the APC have been calling for the zoning of the presidential slot to the south in the spirit of fairness and justice. This position has also been upheld by some prominent northern figures.
It is believed that if the slot is given to the south, the ruling would have a landslide victory during the 2023 general election since it is being speculated that the former vice president and PDP's presidential candidate in 2029, Atiku Abubakar, may also be picked as its standard-bearer.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng highlights prominent northern politicians including governors who insist that power must be shifted to the south after the expiration of President Buhari in 2023.
1. Governor Babagana Zulum
The governor of Borno state, Babagana Zulum, did not mince words when said at the 17th Chief Gani Fawehinmi annual lecture, that in the spirit of fairness, power should go to the south in 2023.
The governor said the country was moving into an inevitable tension, adding that a section of the country must not be denied the opportunity to lead.
He had said:
“My response to the question posed by the theme of this programme is that, yes, there are pathways to indivisibility and common progress. We must collectively agree that we need to do more to demonstrate fairness to every constituent part that made up this country. That is the constitution.
“We need to understand that pedestrian suspicion is not an empirical or legal reason to deny any section of the country participating in the leadership of this country. We are fast moving towards a point of inevitable tension."
2. Governor Nasiru El-Rufai
Malam Nasiru El-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna state, has backed the quest for southern presidency come 2023.
The governor had on many occasions made his position on the 2023 presidency clear, insisting that it is the turn of the south to man the coveted seat in the country.
El-Rufai had said:
“In Nigerian politics, there is a system of rotation, in which everyone agrees that if the North rules for eight years, the South will rule for eight years.
“That is why I came out and said that after President Buhari has been in office for eight years, no northerner should run for the office. Let the southerners also have eight years.”
3. Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano state said the presidential slot should be given to the southern region, adding that there should be a consensus of members.
He said the zoning system, even though it is not in the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, is a strategy for winning elections.
Ganduje is said to be having a very cordial relationship with the national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who is said to be eyeing the presidency.
4. Abdulaziz Yari
Former governor of Zamfara state, Abdulaziz Yari has also thrown his weight behind a southern presidency, saying that if the presidential ticket goes to the south, the APC chairmanship would go to the north.
He said if the presidency has to go to the south, the APC chairmanship may as well come to the north.
5. Senator Ali Ndume
A former Senate leader, Mohammed Ali Ndume, who also aligned with Governor Zulum on the zoning, said it would be tantamount to a third term if the APC fields a northerner as its presidential candidate in 2023.
He told Daily Trust that in the spirit of fairness, justice and fair play, the party should zone its presidential ticket to the south.
He added that retaining the presidency in the North would not augur well for the party and the country.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that a former governor of Osun state, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, said that the opposition party would defeat the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
It was reported that he said unity is the key weapon the PDP can deploy to take over the presidency from the ruling APC in the 2023 election.
Wale Akinola is a passionate journalist and researcher. He works as a senior political/current affairs editor at Legit.ng. He holds both B.A and Master’s degree in Communications and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan. He also holds a Diploma Certificate in Peace Journalism. He has over 15 years of work experience in both print and online media. He derives joy in keeping the public abreast of current happenings locally and internationally through his writings.