2023: We are not concerned about zoning Presidency, says APC - 9japarrot


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Thursday, 26 November 2020

2023: We are not concerned about zoning Presidency, says APC

The All Progressives Congress has said it is currently not concerned about the zoning of the presidency in 2023.

Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Yekini Nabena disclosed this on Tuesday while speaking during an interview with The PUNCH.

According to The Punch, Yekini Nabena tried so hard to avoid questions when asked if APC have any agreement on zoning before the 2015 elections.

The Punch reported that Nabena spoke amid a disclosure by some chieftains of the APC that before 2015 elections, its leaders had an unwritten agreement on the zoning of the presidency.

Recall that the Director-General of the Progressives Governor Forum, Dr. Salihu Lukman, had on Monday insisted that the party’s presidential ticket would be open to all members to compete for in 2023.

Lukman, in an interview with journalists, dismissed speculations making the rounds that the party had agreed on a zoning arrangement.

In his words, “The level playing field in the APC has been well conceived, nurtured, and now gaining more traction by the day. For instance, everybody could see that the place is open whether you call it with reference to 2023 or reference to any election. It’s about the fact that the spirit of political contest in the party is now very high. It means that if you want to negotiate, as a good negotiator if you want to canvass, as a good canvasser for a specific interest, the party is up to you.”

Also, another foundation member of the APC, who was the Bauchi State Secretary of the Action Congress, later Action Congress of Nigeria, Abdullahi Dauda, also explained that there was an agreement in principle.

Dauda, said this in an interview in an interview in Abuja, on Tuesday. He explained that there was an understanding between party members that power would rotate between the North and South when the party was formed.

He said, “While it is true that there is no written agreement, there was an understanding. It was based on this understanding that at least five out of the six states in the South-West ensured that President Muhammadu Buhari received block votes to win the presidential election first in 2015 and also in 2019.

“It is expected that by 2023 when Buhari completes his second four-year tenure, a candidate from the southern part of Nigeria will succeed him, this is the only fair and just thing to do.”

Another foundation member of the party, who until the formation of the APC was a member of the Congress for Progressive Change, Okechukwu, said, “It has been a convention since 1999. I remember that the same arrangement ensured that former President Olusegun Obasanjo from the South-West emerged as the candidate to contest against a fellow southerner, Olu Falae, in 1999, the same arrangement led to the late President Umaru Yar’Adua contesting against General Muhammadu Buhari in 2007. It was a gentleman’s agreement meant to foster national unity, equity and good conscience. It is not like a written thing. It is like a convention and moral code or like the British would say, it is an unwritten constitution. One of the reasons why President Jonathan lost is that a section of the country which felt it was their turn felt short changed.”

Bu Nabena said zoning had not been discussed. Asked if the issue was agreed on during the formation of the party and if the party was bound to respect such an agreement, he said, “It has not yet been discussed. We have not got to that stage yet; we still have our party registration and convention to do. When we get to the point when such issues are discussed, it will not be a secret.”

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