- Nigeria's main opposition party, PDP, is reportedly considering making its 2023 presidential ticket open to all zones
- The party, however, has also not ruled out zoning as it has set up a committee to consider it
- However, sources indicate that whichever option the party chooses, the north is still in a vantage position to clinch the 2023 ticket
A report by Vanguard has indicated that Nigeria's main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is considering two options in choosing its presidential candidate in 2023; open contest and zoning.
Though the 2023 general election is still a little far away, the two main parties in the country, the ruling APC and the PDP, have been occupied with the politics of how and where to choose their presidential flagbearers.
Political stakeholders from the southeastern part of the country have been at the forefront of the 2023 debate as they argue that it is the turn of the region to produce President Muhammadu Buhari's successor.
According to Vanguard's report, the PDP may not zone its presidential ticket and instead leave the contest open to all presidential aspirants from all parts of the country.
Nevertheless, there are pressures from both southern and northern political stakeholders in the position party to get the presidential ticket.
The report cited sources as saying that the north still stands a better chance of getting the ticket if the contest is open.
North may get the ticket again
As the stakeholders continue to fight for their zones, the report indicates that some power brokers in the party are angling for the ticket to be zoned to the north, arguing that the party stands a better chance of winning the 2023 presidential election if the zone retained the ticket.
Another source was cited as arguing that out of the PDP’s 16 years reign, the south had been ahead of the north, a situation that may jeopardise also jeopardises the south's chances of getting the ticket.
The PDP source noted that former President Olusegun Obasanjo, a southerner, spent eight years in office before the late Umaru Yar’Adua, a northerner, took over the reins of power.
However, death did not allow Yar'Adua to complete his tenure as he only spent two years and 341 days in power.
Yar’Adua’s death paved the way for Dr Goodluck Jonathan, another southerner, who went on to complete the term and subsequently ran another four years in office.
The complicated situation made it difficult for the PDP leadership to defend the choice of a southerner as its candidate in 2023, sources were cited to have said.
A source reportedly claimed that no southerner will indicate interest if the ticket is left open, arguing that southern PDP leaders also understand the complicated situation.
Committee set up on zoning
The PDP’s deputy national publicity secretary, Diran Odeyemi, was quoted as saying that the party has set up a committee to look into zoning.
He said it is important to wait for the report of the committee.
In other news, the southeast leaders across political parties have begged the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition PDP to cede their presidential tickets to the zone in the spirit of justice and national harmony.
The Igbo leaders said on Tuesday, January 5, that any party that does not zone its 2023 presidential ticket to the southeast would not get the region’s votes.
Legit.ng gathered that this was part of resolutions reached at the end of a bi-partisan meeting of southeast political leaders at the Camp Neya, Igbere, in Abia state.
Nurudeen Lawal is a Legit.ng journalist passionate about fact-checking/verification journalism. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature-in-English from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State. As Politics Editor, Nurudeen mostly writes on Nigeria’s political and socio-economic developments. He has attended different workshops, conferences and training on fact-checking and digital reporting, among others. Learn more about him on Twitter, @Nurudeen Lawal_