Following Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) zoning of chairmanship position to north, an indication that next presidential candidate of the party might emerge from southern part of the country, the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has rejected presidential zoning as well as other positions been one of PDP’s members likely to be affected with the new development.
Going against constitution of the party, Atiku expressed believes that Nigeria needs more of qualified hands to handle presidential affairs of the nation that considering zoning the seat to either northern or southern region of the country.
Atiku, who was Nigeria’s vice president from 1999 to 2007 under the banner of PDP, noted that it was important Nigerians jettison the idea of regional politics and embrace principle of equality and fairness to ensure the country cement the needed peace and protect her nascent democracy.
“Where the President comes from has never been the problem of Nigeria. It will not be the solution to the problems of Nigeria. There is no such thing as a President from Southern Nigeria or a President from Northern Nigeria. There is only one President, a President of Nigeria, for Nigeria and by Nigerians.
“The Peoples Democratic Party has the right to determine its rules on how the party should be governed. The people of Nigeria also have the right to determine who governs them,” Atiku said at the sideline of the 94th National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting on Thursday.
He further urged the former ruling party to be guided by the spirit of fairness and equity in determining its presidential candidate in 2023 rather than zoning the ticket along ethnic consideration, adding that Nigerians were only interested in leader that has the masses at heart.
Atiku, who was the PDP presidential candidate during the 2019 election, also called on party leaders to prioritise youths and women’s inclusion in PDP new leadership due to emerge at the end of this month.
“Talking about inclusions, I would like to see a new National Working Committee of our great party that has sizable numbers of our youths and woman. The decision of NEC today will either see PDP move into the villa in 2023 or not. Since inception, this party has faced serious challenges, and have risen above sentiments to solve those challenges and move forward.
So, this country has a sense of fairness. This country has a sense of justice. Therefore, this thing that is inbuilt in our party, we should be able to use it, to imbibe it to make sure today’s deliberations are in the best interest of our party, in the best interest of Nigeria, which will ultimately give us the victory that we asked for, to go back to the villa,” he added