South-West PDP insists on southern presidency as Tambuwal rejects zoning

Tambuwal says zoning the 2023 presidency would narrow the party’s chances of winning the election.

Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal [Sokoto State Government]

Members and leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South-West region are not backing down on the demand for the 2023 presidency to be zoned to the southern part of the country.

At its zonal caucus meeting held at the Oyo State Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, on Tuesday, March 22, 2022, the party reiterated its support for southern governors’ demand that the next president must emerge from the south.

In September 2021, the governors unanimously agreed that the 2023 presidency must be zoned to their region for the sake of justice and fairness.

The governors also threatened to oppose any political party that fields a northern candidate for president in 2023.

Corroborating the governors’ position, the South-West PDP at its meeting on Tuesday stressed its support for all efforts aimed at national cohesion through equitable distribution of federal positions and appointments among the six geo-political zones in Nigeria.

In a communique read by Olasoji Adagunodo, the PDP's National Vice-Chairman, South-West, the party said it has resolved that the unity of its members in the zone was non-negotiable.

The communique reads in part: “The PDP South-West Zone is in support of the Southern Governors’ Forum that the next President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should come from the South.

“The South-West Zone reaffirms its position on restructuring of Nigeria.”

However, the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal has rejected the idea of zoning the 2023 presidency to the south.

The governor during his consultation meeting with former presiding officers of state Houses of Assembly and the House of Representatives in Abuja on Tuesday warned the PDP to leave zoning and focus on winning elections.

Tambuwal said the PDP can rotate power between the north and the south only after it had successfully won the 2023 elections at the centre.

The governor said this barely 24 hours after PDP governors in the south-south region demanded that the party should zone its presidential tickets to the south.

Tambuwal said: “Now, this is for the PDP. In the South, as of today, the PDP is in eight government houses. The APC is also in eight government houses, leaving one, Anambra. In the North, the APC is in 14 government houses and the PDP is in five government houses. And they (the APC) have the President.

“I’m giving you this analysis so that together, as leaders of our party, we can work towards winning the election, not zoning, not winning tickets. Yes, we can share tickets and everybody can take his piece and go to his zone. But you must plan to win the election. That’s the reality of it. It’s not anybody’s making. I didn’t make myself come from Sokoto. No, it’s God.

“So, we must accept these realities as a party and work with these realities to win the election. After that, we can now say okay, let’s share power. Win the election first. Don’t win zoning! Win the election and then we’ll come and share power.”

The Sokoto governor advised the PDP to seek viable candidates with which it could win elections, adding that zoning the presidency would narrow the party’s chances.

According to him, the ruling party would have lost the 2015 presidential election if it had presented a southern presidential candidate.

Tambuwal is one of the main northern political leaders that seek to become Nigeria’s next president in 2023.

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