The All Progressives Congress (APC) says any zone interested in clinching its 2023 presidential ticket must lobby other zones and not resort to blackmail.
Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena stated this while reacting to comments by some Southern leaders including Chief Ayo Adebanjo of Afenifere, Idongesit Nkanga of PANDEF and Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, in separate chats with Saturday Sun.
Adebanjo accused the core North of hatching a plan to keep power perpetually.
He called for the restructuring of the country, emphasising that Nigeria’s political situation had gone beyond zoning the 2023 presidential ticket.
He said that the ongoing review of the Constitution by the Ninth National Assembly was a diversionary tactic.
The Afenifere chieftain stressed that the APC was mouthing restructuring to keep people talking until 2023.
Adebanjo added, “The Fulani will not yield power easily and that’s why I say if you don’t restructure, forget Nigeria, but you people are still deceiving yourselves.
“And I often ask you, all these times we are saying if we don’t restructure, Nigeria will break, what has been Buhari’s reactions of assuring the people that the situation is not as bad as that, giving persuasive words?”
He noted that instead of calling for dialogue, Northern leaders were accusing their Southern counterparts of trying to browbeat them to adopt restructuring.
Nkanga of the Pan–Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) advised the two major political parties to zone their 2023 presidential ticket to the South.
He warned that any attempt to retain the presidency in the North by either the PDP or the APC would have a boomerang effect on the nation’s polity.
First Republic Aviation Minister, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, advised against any plot by the North to keep power beyond 2023.
He warned that “if the two parties provide northern candidates, then the two parties in their vision have created a situation that would explode and when it explodes, nobody should be blamed, except the people who have created the situation.”
Reacting, Nabena stated that the comments by the Southern leaders were overheating the polity, saying it was too early to be talking about zoning of the presidency.
“They don’t have any right to tell people what to do. It is not by force, threat or intimidation but by negotiation. If they feel strongly about the ticket, they should form their own political party and give their ticket to whichever zone they want to produce the president in 2023.
“It is called politics because you cannot impose anybody on any person. It is a game of numbers. The Southeast must lobby and tell other regions what they have for them. By the way, it is even too early to talk about zoning in 2023. Instead of heating up the polity, they should resort to alliance, lobbying and consultations,” the APC spokesman noted.