Spokesperson for the Concerned All Progressives Congress Members, a pressure group within the party, Abdullahi Dauda, has insisted that the party must honour the gentlemen’s agreement between stakeholders by shifting power to the South.
He stated this while reacting to a statement credited to the Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum, Abubakar Bagudu, while welcoming the Cross River Governor, Ben Ayade, into the party last week.
Bagudu was quoted to have said that APC belongs to all Nigerians, and that everyone, from every part of the country was free to aspire for any position in the party in line with provisions of the party’s constitution and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
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Some party supporters have interpreted this statement to mean an attempt to renege on a gentleman’s agreement among leaders that the Presidency should go to the South in 2023.
Dauda alleged that this has been the plan of some people all along, but as a party, members must respect agreements, stressing that the North has had its turn in, 2023 the presidency should go to a southerner.
A former National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, in an interview on the subject of zoning said, “Zoning is inevitable because there are different areas in that ward or in that local government with different interests, different needs so you cannot take from only one place in the ward even if you are the most qualified it’s not possible.
“So, zoning is not something you can wish away, zoning is practiced worldwide. In other areas it may be less primitive but it is still there, it is whether they call it zoning or something else it is still there.”
Also, an Enugu State chieftain of the party, Osita Okechukwu, said, “My happiness is that the governors of our great party are speaking with one voice; that’s a good development. We have heard them, our own Progressive Governors Forum; their position is that every APC member has the chance to contest for the presidential slot.
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“This is normal and the legal position of our great party’s constitution. However, as we approach the presidential primary in 2020, the issue of zoning convention agitation will surface, especially from the Southern belt.
“For example, my geopolitical zone, the South-East will be appealing to the two dominant political parties – APC and PDP – to adhere to the Falae/Obasanjo model of 1999 and the Yar’Adua/Buhari model of 2007. For the 4th Republic commenced with the zoning or rotation convention as the foundation for equity, natural justice and good conscience.
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