Politics

PDP’s focus in 2023 is winning, not zoning. The luxury of zoning is only affordable to APC – Wike

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Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State on Tuesday while speaking on Channels TV during a programme, Sunrise Daily, said that the focus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was winning the 2023 Presidential Election and not zoning.

He noted that zoning is a political arrangement only affordable to ruling parties.

Speaking further, the outspoken governor who is also from the same zone with his predecessor, ex-Governor Rotimi Amaechi, said that during the 2015 Governorship Election, there were suggestions that he should not be given the ticket of the PDP because of zoning arrangement in Rivers, but out of necessity, he was allowed to contest.

“When I came on board, people were saying no, the position shouldn’t control us (sic) because of my ethnic group but there was an argument that we are an opposition party. What we want to do is to win elections,” he said.

“As an opposition party, we look at all variables. What will make us win election (comes) first. That is what is important to us. The ruling party can say that (zoning) but for the opposition party, there are variables,” he added.

Mamman Daura, a nephew of President Muhammadu Buhari, had last week stated that competence, not zoning should determine who emerges the next President in 2023.

Daura’s statement drew criticisms from different political groups in the Southern part of the country. The Afenifere Yoruba socio-political group, the Igbo Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the Niger Delta Elders Forum, and the Middle Belt, had vehemently condemned Daura’s comment and asked if his uncle would have become president if not for zoning, or if his uncle was competent enough to be ruling Nigeria.

When asked to comment on the debate, Wike said; “It depends; as an opposition party, we look at all variables. Forget about other parties. We look at all variables and our own concern is how do we win? how do we get back power?

“So, it is not one factor that will influence (decisions). So, many variables will come into play. It will be wrong for me as an opposition person to say this must be done now. No, I will not do that,” he added.

President Buhari of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) would be completing his tenure in 2023. It is expected that the South would be given a chance by the APC to present a candidate for the next Presidential Election.

But some political heavyweights in the APC still wants APC to field a northern candidate to increase their chances of retaining power. Speculations has it that if a southern candidate does not emerge as the candidate of the ruling APC in 2023, the APC might collapse, as the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who controls the South-West, without which the APC cannot win, also wants to become President after waiting patiently for eight years.

The PDP will no doubt field a northern candidate, preferably, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who gave incumbent President Buhari a tough fight in the 2019 Presidential poll.

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