- Ahead of the 2023 presidential election, northern leaders are divided over the clamour for a power shift to the South.
- Some northern leaders want the power to return to the south after President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term
- However, some northerners, especially the core north, still want the region to retain power according to some sources
According to the report, with fewer northern aspirants, a division of southern votes at the presidential primaries could throw up northern candidates in both the APC and PDP.
Of the 7,747 delegates expected at the APC presidential primaries, 4,414 are from the north, while 3,333 are from the south.
The zonal breakdown is as follows: northwest - 1, 924 delegates; southwest - 1,568; north-central - 1,278; northeast - 1, 212; southeast - 838; and south-south 927 delegates.
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Speaking on power shift, a top northern politician quoted in the report said the north has 70 per cent of the votes and would not give it to candidates who don’t understand the problem of northern Nigeria.
“The north is not ready for rotation. They will rally around to present a candidate that is acceptable to the north and the candidate will beat any southern candidate. APC will present a consensus candidate that will be acceptable.
“The northerner will be acceptable to the south. The sentiments of the north is not about zoning or power shift.
“This election is not one the candidate will win in every region. It will be a tight race. The candidate will win in four regions. Nigeria is badly fractured and disunited. It is after the election that rebuilding will start.
“The APC and PDP don’t have an idea of what problems are. The candidate’s personality will shape the outcome of the election. We pray that the next president won’t be worse than President Buhari.”
However, former governor of Benue state, Senator Gabriel Suswam, pooh-poohed northerners, who are insisting on retaining power.
Suswam, who is the chairman of the presidential campaign team of Akwa Ibom state governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, also kicked against zoning and consensus, arguing that what Nigeria needed now was a president who understood its problems and has the capacity to solve them.
2023: Old generation should step aside, says Ex-President Obasanjo
Meanwhile, former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday, February 21 called on the old generation of Nigerians to give way to the younger breeds in the building of a prosperous Nigeria.
According to him, rather than competition, the old generation should collaborate with the younger ones and provide them with the requisite knowledge and experience to transform the country for the better.
He made the comment while speaking virtually at the 2022 annual lecture of the Murtala Muhammed Foundation with the theme, ‘Beyond Boko Haram: Addressing insurgency, banditry, and kidnapping across Nigeria.’
Nigeria requires fresh, patriotic perspectives, says Olawepo-Hashim
In a related development, a presidential aspirant under the APC, Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim has stated that Nigeria’s problems require a fresh and patriotic perspective as Nigerians search for who leads the nation in the next presidential election in 2023.
In a press statement sent to Legit.ng on Wednesday, February 2, Olawepo-Hashim explained that issues such as insecurity, unemployment, poverty, and infrastructural decay, cannot be solved by politics as usual, but through fresh and critical thinking.
He maintained that the brand of politics without ideas that is centred on selfishness, propelled by greed, mediocrity, and sycophancy must now give way if Nigeria is to regain her greatness.