The north has split over issues of power rotation and a northern candidate in the 2023 presidential race. Some northern leaders and state actors have subscribed to the demand for zoning of the president to the south in 2023. This group is predominantly influenced by political leaders from the northeast Nigeria.
Some others are vehemently opposed to power shift to the south in 2023, though, they have no consensus on who should be the candidate for the north. Majority of the political leaders in this group represents the conservative northwest Nigeria.
In all the political configuration, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, has become a recurring phenomenon in all the argument. There appeared to be a general phobia that northern leaders could not find a strong candidate in the All Progressives Congress (APC) to match former Vice President Atiku of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Sources from the north, disclosed that the fear of Atiku is the major concern of those insisting that the president should be zoned to the south in 2023, not for genuine promotion of equity or fairness. Apparently, political leaders dominating the northeast on the APC platform were disclosed to fret over overwhelming victory Atiku may record in the zone if given the PDP ticket; and would not want such ‘disgrace’ to occur.
Our source revealed that Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State, APC National Caretaker Committee Chairman, is perceived to be interested in the 2023 presidential race. The party stakeholders were said to be afraid that the Yobe governor may have the clout to weather the storm, especially, when contesting with Atiku Abubakar.
Some others were also said to be interested in becoming the vice president in 2023 with the president being zoned to the south. This set of political leaders was said to be dominated by those holding political offices in Abuja.
Apparently, Atiku’s primary constituency has an entirely disposition for the president to be zoned to the south in 2023. This was, however, said to be the decision of only APC members.
Our source, however, said further that Atiku has worked deeply into the northeast political structure, adding that some APC states may fall in 2023 if Atiku emerges the PDP presidential candidate as the non-partisan stakeholders in the northeast conceived that as a crucial opportunity to make their son leader of the country.
Northern leaders in other zones, the northwest and north central, were said to working on a political simulation of negotiating a vice president from the south. Our source said that while, they cannot firmly insist on retaining the president in the north in 2023, they have deepened overtures to some political and state actors from the south in Abuja to accept the vice president ticket and support a northern president.
However, a few others were said to have continuing lobbying for the return of former President Goodluck Jonathan for a second tenure in 2023. The Jonathan bargaining cards were said not to have been parked off the table of horse trading for 2023 by northern leaders.
Meanwhile, some state and political actors argue that in the PDP, southern leaders have taken more years of being the president than the north. They argue that justice in the PDP would require the party conceding the president to the north in 2023. The APC, they said, is more suitable to zone the president to the south after the second tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 for justice and equity.
The southern governors had a fortnight ago demanded that the president be zones to the south in 2023. Governor Zulum of Borno State also supported the demand of the southern governors.
National Daily search found that over eight potential aspirants for the APC 2023 presidential ticket – three in the southwest, three in the southeast, and two in the south-south – have been working underground for the race. Some of the potential aspirants were gathered to be working on a double-edged sword of either getting the presidential ticket or settling for the vice president.
Pronounced presidential aspirants in the PDP are currently dominated by northern politicians – three in the northwest, two in the northeast and one in the north central.
The horse trading and negotiations are turning out with high frequency and changing terms. National Daily will bring you updates on the presidential negotiations in subsequent reports.