- The recent comment by Senator Abdullahi Adamu has reignited the heated conversations about zoning again
- The APC national chairman on Friday, April 29 said the ruling party had not taken a definite decision on the issue
- The comment has sparked outrage across various groups in the country, especially those rooting for southern presidency in 2023
FCT, Abuja - A report by ThisDay newspaper indicates that condemnations have trailed the claim by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on Friday, April 29 that it had not decided on where to zone its presidential ticket for the 2023 elections.
The APC national chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, who spoke on the controversial zoning issue said the party had not taken any zoning decision.
He said such a decision would be the job of the entire party, which he said was bigger than himself as chairman.
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“I am today privileged to be the chairman of the party. The party is greater than me. The party has not made a decision and I cannot preempt what the party’s decision will be.”
But in a swift reaction, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo; Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Arewa Consultative Youth Forum (ACYF), and the South-South Elders’ Forum (SSEF) have condemned the indecision of the ruling party.
In its reaction to APC’s indecision on zoning, PANDEF described Adamu’s claim as careless and ill-considered.
PANDEF’s spokesman, Hon. Ken Robinson, noted that with the swapping of positions between the North and South, the understanding was that the presidential candidate of the party would come from the South.
“How can he (Adamu) make such a remark? Do they mean well for this country at all? This is a man who emerged as national chairman of the party through the instrumentality of zoning.”
Also reacting, the SSEF warned that any attempt to deny the south the position of the presidential candidate of the APC would be an invitation to anarchy.
According to the national leader of the SSEF, Chief Anabs Sara-Igbe, such a decision will give ethnic nationalities in the south a sense that they are not wanted in the country.
Sara-Igbe expressed the fear that any attempt to jettison the unwritten gentlemen’s agreement between the north and the south would lead to a catastrophic reaction, the end of which nobody can predict.
On its part, the ACYF has called on the national chairman of APC, Adamu, to withdraw his statement that the party had not taken a position on zoning.
The ACYF, in a statement yesterday, said the statement credited to Adamu was capable of heating the polity and spelling doom for the party if not quickly withdrawn.
In its reaction, Ohanaeze Ndigbo yesterday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to demonstrate strong courage and leadership by prevailing on his party to zone the 2023 presidency to the southeast.
Speaking through its spokesman, Chief Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, the organisation said those who came up with the issue of dividing the country along zonal structures were not wrong.
The organisation warned that anything outside zoning the presidency to the southeast zone would not only boomerang but threaten the nation’s very existence.
2023: APC chieftain, Chekwas Okorie speaks on Igbo preisdency
On his part, APC chieftain and former national chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Chief Chekwas Okorie has appealed to his party's leadership to zone its presidential ticket to the southeast.
Speaking to Legit.ng on the sidelines of his book launch in Abuja on Thursday, April 28, Okorie said the Igbos deserve the slot as many southeast politicians are now moving to the centre in support of the APC.
“You can see that we are making progress with many Igbo politicians joining mainstream politics with their association with the APC to contribute their own quota to national development.
“We also have the numerical strength, both in the southeast and beyond, to deliver huge votes to the ruling APC if the party zones the ticket to Ndigbo.
“We can deliver. We will deliver. And indeed, as I said earlier in my speech, the time to take control of our political destiny in Nigeria is now.”
2023: Fear grips APC presidential aspirants as Buhari keeps mum on anointed candidate
Meanwhile, there are indications that aspirants on the platform of the APC are currently in confusion and fear over the modality the candidate of the party will emerge after the primaries for the 2023 presidential election.
Although the aspirants have been declaring and have even started purchasing the party’s N100 million expression of interest and nomination forms, however, many of them are groping in the dark and uncertain about how the party’s candidate will finally emerge.
As a mark of respect, almost all the aspirants had approached President Muhammadu Buhari to notify him of their intentions before declaring openly, but surprisingly they all got the same presidential endorsement response.
2023: Crisis rocks APC as officials allegedly tamper with delegates’ list
In a related development, there are indications that the delegates' list of the APC may have been tampered with.
Aggrieved party officials say delegates' list circulated contained the names of some APC members that left out of their volition or ceased being members due to circumstances beyond their control, including death.
Some party sources said the planned election of delegates coming up about two weeks might not hold in some states where there is little or no disputes over the list of delegates.