Should the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, fail to zone the presidency to Southern Nigeria, the party is likely going to witness mass exodus, a PDP group, Vanguard for Justice, said.
It revealed that the party is bent on zoning its presidential ticket to the North, a move they said may prompt high profile defections in the South.
The PDP had recently denied zoning the presidency to the North following a claim by former Niger State governor, Babangida Aliyu, that it had done so.
But the group in a statement by its Chairman, Emmanuel Nduka, warned the party against zoning the position to the North.
It explained that zoning the presidency to the South would engender national unity, equity and justice.
In addition the group said the fact that most of the people pushing for power shit to the South, indicates that what Nigeria needs in 2023 is a Southern president.
Specifically, elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, Borno State governor, Babagana Zulum, and Jonathan Asake of Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, SOKAPU, were cited as being among prominent northern leaders who have called for the presidency to be zoned to the South.
According to the statement, “On Monday, January 17, 2022, governors elected under the platform of Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), conveyed a high-powered meeting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State Capital. The meeting was hosted by no other than the strong man of Rivers State, Governor Nyesom Wike, and presided over by the Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal.
“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. But beyond this, the party does not seem for 2023, or what may even precede it.
“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 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, 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.”