A former president general of the Igbo Cultural Association (ICA), in Plateau State, Chief Jonah Ezekwueme, has said that the possibility of APC retaining power in 2023 is higher if the opposition PDP, ignore the zoning arrangement.
The Igbo Chieftain said the APC has made it obvious that the 2023 presidential ticket of the party will go to the South, while the PDP is still playing politics with the zoning formula.
Ezekwueme stated this Monday in Jos while reacting with excitement about the number of Igbo aspirants who have joined the race to contest the number one seat in the country.
“With the way APC is going, they want to retain power, hence they are making frantic efforts to ensure that a Southerner becomes the next president. On the other hand, the PDP is still playing to the gallery and if they eventually ignore zoning the presidency to the South, that will be their end”, he said.
Explaining further he continued: “Zoning is a way of ensuring that every section of this country is carried along in governance. The idea is for the six geopolitical zones to have the opportunity to produce the President, Vice President, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Party Chairman, Senate President, and the likes.
“It might not be constitutional, but it is called a gentleman agreement, which is also practiced in some developed countries of the world.
“Without zoning, former president Olusegun Obasanjo, Musa Yar’adua, Goodluck Jonathan, and President Muhammadu Buhari would not have emerged as President. So anyone who wants to jettison zoning is not a true democrat”, he said.
When asked why the southeast is clamoring for the presidency, Ezekwueme said the call for an Igbo presidency becomes imperative because, both the southwest and the south-south have all produced presidents since the return of democracy in 1999.
“The southeast have supported the southwest and south-south to be president, so it is just normal for them to also support the southeast at this time”, he said.
The Igbo Chieftain however favored the former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi among other aspirants to be the next president come 2023, arguing that with Obi’s track records, he has what it takes to reposition Nigeria.