By Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja
A coalition of stakeholders of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC from the North East has demanded that the party leadership and its presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to pick his running mate from the North Central rather than the North West.
This, according to the stakeholders, would afford the party to win the 2023 presidential elections and positions it as a party known for fairness, equity and justice.
The decision was taken at the end of an emergency meeting of the North East APC Stakeholders Coalition which held Sunday in Abuja.
Some stakeholders from the North West had recently clamoured for the position of running mate.
Addressing journalists after the meeting, National Coordinator of North East APC Stakeholders Coalition, Alhaji Abba Aji Suleiman faulted the demand of their North Western counterparts, describing it as “not only misplaced, but a gross display of insensitivity to the relevance of other regions in the scheme of things in the party”.
The coalition argued that, “the North West Region had been within the corridors of power in the last seven years of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, and for such demand to be made indeed speaks volume of gross insensitivity.
“It is the considered view of stakeholders in the North East that it would only be fair and just if the vice-presidential slot goes to the North Central, given the numerous contributions of the region to the growth and development of the party.
“The stakeholders must come to terms with the fact that the North Central region hasn’t had a shot at the highest level of governance since the return of democracy in 1999. This time has presented that unique opportunity that must be utilized in the party’s best interest.
“The North-West APC Stakeholders must also realize that the overarching objective of the party is to secure a landslide victory at the polls, and if that is indeed the case, would it make any sense if a region that has been represented adequately in the last ten years, would also demand the vice-presidential slot”.
Speaking further, Alhaji Suleiman stressed that, “unless the stakeholders of our great party in the North West want us to believe that the North Central is not deserving of producing the vice-presidential candidate hence the demand for the vice-presidential slot.
“The stakeholders of the APC in the North East wish to use this medium to call on the leadership of our great party to ensure justice and fairness by providing that the vice presidential slot is given to the North Central”.
He added that the North Central has not had the opportunity to produce either the president or vice president, “despite the array of credible candidates in the region with excellent profiles and broad appeal across the country”, urging the APC to consider the North Central for the position of vice president, as his region had already conceded, for equity sake.