Edwin Clark, an elder statesman, has counseled northern presidential candidates to abandon their ambitions and embrace a Southern president.
According to Arewakallo News, the Pan Niger Delta Forum’s (PANDEF) leader stated this in a statement released on Monday.
In the interest of peace and unity, Clark specifically asked former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, former Senate President Bukola Saraki, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, and other PDP hopefuls from the north to reconsider their bids for President in 2023.
He went on to say that handing the president to the North in 2023 will cause turmoil and further fragmentation of the country, and that it is past time for the South to produce Buhari’s successor.
Although the concept of zoning is not enshrined into the constitution, Clark argues that it is necessary for the country’s cohesiveness.
“First and foremost, I would like to use this medium to advise my most respected Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains in the persons of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, former President of the Senate Bukola Saraki, Aminu Tambuwal, Governor of Sokoto State, and other PDP aspirants from the north, that in the interest of maintaining the unity of this country to which they have contributed so much, to re-consider their desire to contest for the presidency,” the statement read. To do differently is to invite turmoil, which will lead to our beloved country’s dissolution.
The fact that the country’s two major parties, the APC and the PDP, have adhered to the zoning and rotation system between the north and the south is illuminating.
“By 2023, the North would have reigned for a further eight years. As a result, insisting on a presidential rotation to the south is both sensible and correct. Since 2015, it has made little difference whether the presidency has been generated by the APC or the PDP.
“It’s a another question entirely whatever sub-region the president should be further assigned to in the south. We shall decide which sector, section, or region of the three regions of the South East, South South, and South West should have it at the proper time.
“As I previously stated, I have been dismayed to learn that some of my respected friends, particularly former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the distinguished former President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, who opposed former President Goodluck Jonathan from contesting the presidential elections because they believed it was the turn of the north, now want to run for the presidency under the PDP in 2023.”
“They’re already campaigning across the country, even though a northerner will be in office for the next eight years in May 2023.
Is it not now a denial of the ‘zoning agreement,’ which previous President Goodluck Jonathan was chastised for? Is it no longer a threat to the country’s unity and survival?
“Because these and others’ intentions will go against the PDP’s zoning system, it may even be the determining factor in the PDP’s decision to be or not to be.”