Former presidential aide, Dr. Doyin Okupe, has protested against the alleged plan to zone 2023 presidency to the North by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Ahead of the 2023 presidential elections, there has been pressure on the two leading political parties, All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) to present presidential candidates from the southern part of the country to replace President Muhammadu Buhari over claims of marginalisation.
And Okupe who has made his intention known to be the next President said it would be against the principles of balance and equality if the PDP fields a northern candidate for the 2023 presidential election.
Okupe also said the party could collapse before 2023 if the current spate of defections in the party continues.
“There is a strong indication that the party is erroneously tilting towards zoning the presidency to the North. Zoning is a veritable instrument that ensures equity and balancing in the nation, gives hope and confidence and support to our national unity”, Okupe said in a statement on Saturday.
“The zoning arrangement which the PDP started since 1998 was based on the assumption that the party will be in power consistently but the moment it lost power in 2015, automatically the arrangement has to be reviewed in view of the development.
“When the PDP lost power, there was a southern president in power. If the party didn’t lose power, and completed in 2019, zoning would kick in and power would have shifted to the North. However, the party that won the election presented a northern candidate who by 2023 would have ruled for eight years.
“We still carried on as if the former arrangement was still in place in 2019 and it was justifiable because within the PDP at that time for us to put forward a northern candidate but in 2023, with APC having ruled for eight years with a northern candidate, it will be preposterous, unjust and uncaring and blatant for the PDP to zone the presidential ticket to the north because the arrangement expired the moment our party lost power in 2019.
“There should be a reset of the zoning arrangement in 2023. It does not make sense to replace a northern government of eight years with another northern government for another eight years, it doesn’t make sense.
“That is why the PDP should zone the presidency to the South. The southern governors who are the leaders of the South had spoken, we should listen to them. It will be folly, reckless and insensitive for any political party to ignore the position of the southern governors”.