- A former presidential spokesperson, Dr Doyin Okupe has declared that agitations for Biafra and Yoruba nations in the southeast and southwest are real
- He said if the PDP zones presidency to the North in 2023, then the party is toying with the country’s unity and stability
- Specifically, Doyin Okupe insisted that there should be a reset of the zoning arrangement towards 2023
Dr Doyin Okupe, a former presidential spokesperson, has sent a strong message to politicians on northern extraction.
According to to him, the growing agitations for Biafra and Yoruba nations in the southeast and southwest geopolitical zones is real.
Going further, he reveled that the people of the tow regions believe that the north is over-domineering. He argued that it does not make sense for the north to produce the next president of the country after the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Specifically, he called on the two political parties; the APC and the PDP to pick southern candidates for the 2023 elections.
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He said that is the only way the stability of the country, the safety of Nigeria and sound economic growth can be guaranteed.
"I wonder how that would be possible when we already have strong secession agitations in the southwest and the southeast. Let me tell you, these agitations are real. The separatist’ movements in these two regions are real. The people are having feelings of lack of belonging or over-domineering by the north.
"This is not the time to pretend as if we are not aware of all those things and be making moves towards replacing a northern government of eight years with another northern government that would be in place for another eight years. It doesn’t make sense. Therefore, the PDP should zone the presidency to the south."
He went further to explain the reason the north should forget about the 2023 presidency. He insisted that there should be a reset of the zoning arrangement.
"When we lost power in 2015, we had a southern president in the person of Goodluck Jonathan. If we did not lose power then, and he completed his term, we would have gone to a convention and we would have automatically zoned the presidency to the North in 2019.
"However, Jonathan lost the election in 2015 and the party that won the election had a northern candidate who by 2023 would have ruled for eight years. What we did in 2019 was to still carry on the zoning arrangement as if our former arrangement was in place, hence we zoned the presidency to the North.
"That was the borderline period that such an assumption could have been made. It was justifiable within the PDP at the time to field a northern candidate. However, in 2023, with the APC having fielded a northern candidate who had ruled for eight years, it would be unjust and uncaring for the PDP to retain the zoning formula which had expired the moment we lost the 2019 elections. There should be a reset of the zoning arrangement towards 2023. Failure to do that is to be playing with another major defeat."
PDP sources say Jonathan not thinking of joining the APC
Meanwhile, amid the speculations, a new report by the Nigerian Tribune has claimed Jonathan was not contemplating joining the APC to run on its platform as a presidential candidate in 2023.
Citing a source close to the former president, the report noted that though some APC leaders have been wooing the ex-president, the Bayelsa-born politician would stay back in the PDP.
Also, the acting national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Elder Yemi Akinwonmi, said the ex-president has assured them that he would not dump the PDP.