A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) group, Vanguard for Justice, has warned the party against zoning the 2023 presidency to the North, saying that such could mark the end of the opposition party.
It said such a decision would be a “tsunami that will wipe out the party totally” as it could lead to a mass exodus of members of the party.
The group stated this in a statement by its Chairman, Emmanuel Nduka.
It advised the party to zone the presidency to the South, saying that doing so will engender national unity, equity and justice.
A former Niger State governor, Babangida Aliyu, had recently said that the PDP had zoned its 2023 presidency to the North, a claim the party immediately denied.
In its statement on the zoning argument, the PDP group said: “On Monday, January 17, 2022, governors elected under the platform of Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), convened a high-powered meeting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital. The meeting was hosted by none other than the strong man of Rivers State, Governor Nyesom Wike, and presided over by the Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State.
“According to the governors, they had converged to review the state of the nation, and chart a way forward, especially with 2023 around the corner. At the end of the meeting, the governors released a nine-point communique, which formed their resolutions
“The All Progressives Congress (APC) led by President Muhammadu Buhari (a northerner) has spent eight years in power. The PDP, as a party, is planning to take power back to the North again. This may prompt an already impending mass exodus of PDP members to the APC, being that they feel that the APC will zone presidential power to the South, which is the right thing to do.
“This is a wind that may blow very soon, and it will come as a rude shock to the PDP. More so, it may be the end of the PDP in Nigeria’s political process.
“Secret meetings and consultations are holding concurrently in Lagos and Kano states. But the initiators, when reached out to, refused to speak out on the matter. For now, they are holding back, saying that when the time is right, they will speak, and that the party as well as Nigerians, will see their faces. This may be a tsunami that will wipe out the PDP totally.
“Former President Olusegun Obasanjo recently told the political class, most of whom are expecting his blessings and endorsement, that he is no longer playing partisan politics.
“Obasanjo is consulting with actors canvassing for a power shift to the South, and has reportedly succumbed. These actors have reportedly met with Obasanjo and former President Ibrahim Babangida behind closed doors after his (Obasanjo) earlier meeting with the PDP.
“Also, this may be an end to the political career of some south-south governors who are bent on being running mate to a Northern Presidential hopeful from the PDP. Some Southerners are also eyeing the nation’s number one seat.
“Zoning the Presidency to the South will rekindle Nigeria’s unity, and promote justice, equity and fairness. Surprisingly, the majority of the PDP stakeholders who are pushing for power to go to the South, are Northerners. In this light, prominent Northern elder statesman, Tanko Yakasai, recently re-echoed this, stating that it will be unjust for the North to still take a shot at the Presidency in 2023 despite the agitations for power shift to the South at the expiration of President Buhari’s tenure.
“How can it be that it is always we the Northerners that will rule? There is no justice in this matter, we rule, they (South) rule that is justice. My opinion is, when Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure is over, the North should stop. He (Buhari) is finishing his eight-year tenure, and how can another Northerner contest and also go for another eight years, since each term is four years and it’s allowed to run twice? Honestly, this is not justice.”