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PDP ignores power shift, says Atiku, Kwankwaso, others free to run

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Amid intense calls for power shift from the North to the South for the 2023 presidential election, the main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party, has said it will not stop aspirants of northern origin from contesting its presidential ticket.

It said it would leave the ticket open for all aspirants irrespective of their states or geopolitical zones.

This implies that prospective aspirants from the North including former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar; a former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki; Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, his counterpart in Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, a former Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso, and others are free to contest the party’s presidential primary as against the clamour for power shift to the South.

As of the time of filing this report, Saraki is the only northern aspirant to have declared his intention on the PDP platform, even though there are clear indications that others would contest. The Governor of Oyo State, Mr Seyi Makinde, revealed in October 2021 that Atiku and Tambuwal had indicated interest to contest the 2023 election.

In the South, however, only a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and ex-Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim, and a former Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Sam Ohuabunwa, have indicated interest in the race in the PDP.

Southern groups such as Afenifere in the South-West and Ohanaeze in the South-East, prominent individuals across the country, the Southern Governors Forum and many others had called for power shift to the South when the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) serves out his second tenure in May 2023.

The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum on January 13 said in Abuja that political parties that fielded northern presidential candidates would not enjoy its support in the 2023 general elections. Some persons have also called for the inclusion of a rotational presidency in the constitution to ensure that every geopolitical zone has a chance to produce the president.

However, some northern groups, including the Northern Governors Forum, opposed the position of the Southern Governors Forum, saying zoning was unconstitutional and that the president could come from any part of the country.

Despite the clamour for power rotation, however, none of the 18 political parties has made its position known on the issue of zoning, even though several aspirants from the different parts of the country have declared their intention to contest the coveted office, mostly on the platform of the PDP and the All Progressives Congress. Continue Reading

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