Despite calls for southern presidency PDP wants northern aspirants to contest

The PDP says persons from every part of the country will be allowed to contest.

PDP says northern aspirants won't be stopped from contesting

The Peoples Democratic Party says presidential aspirants of northern origin will not be stopped from contesting its presidential ticket.

The main opposition party in the country said it would leave the ticket open for all aspirants irrespective of their states or geopolitical zones.

This position contradicts the clamour for power shift to the southern part of the country.

Political stakeholders and socio-political groups in the south have been calling on political parties to zone their presidential tickets to the south.

In September last year, southern governors unanimously agreed that the 2023 presidency must be zoned to their region for the sake of justice and fairness.

The governor also threatened to boycott any party that present a northern aspirant as its presidential candidate for the 2023 presidential election.

Despite the threat, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Debo Ologunagba, said the party would not stop anyone on the basis of age or where they come from.

In an interview with Punch, Ologunagba said persons from every part of the country will be allowed to contest.

He said, “We must rescue the country from where it is today, and in doing that, we do not have to think of where the next President would come from, but the ability, experience and integrity to work.

“In the PDP, persons from every part of the country will be allowed to contest, but we can only boast that the primary will be free, fair, transparent and credible. We cannot be talking about zones in deciding on who becomes the presidential candidate of the party.

“Everybody that qualifies to run and is interested will be allowed to run. Nobody will be stopped. We will be guided by the party’s and the country’s constitutions.

“We won’t shut anybody out of the electoral process. When the time comes, all organs of the party will however be involved in the decision-making process on the guidelines for the party’s presidential primary. These organs include the ward, local government, state, zonal executives, the National Assembly members, Board of Trustees and the National Executive Committee of the party.”

This implies that northern presidential hopefuls such as 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, and Rabiu Kwankwaso are free to contest the PDP’s presidential primary.

While some of these presidential hopefuls are yet to publicly declare their intention to join the 2023 presidential race, Saraki has declared his intention on the PDP platform.

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