2023 Presidency: Reconsider your ambition to avoid disintegration Clark tells Atiku, other northern aspirants | NN NEWS


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Ijaw national leader, Chief Edwin Clark, has urged northern aspirants to reconsider their presidential ambition ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Clark asked aspirants such as former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar; former Senate President, Bukola Saraki; and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, to reconsider their interest in the presidential seat to avoid “chaos”.

This was contained in a statement issued on Monday by Clark.

Clark noted that the “rotation of power” between the geo-political zones in the country was in the interest of Nigeria.

According to Clark, though the concept of zoning is not written in the constitution, “rotation of power” is in the interest of the country’s unity.

The Ijaw chief stated that the constitution of the Peoples Democratic Party gives way for rotation of elective offices adding that it is now the South’s turn to produce the President of Nigeria in 2023.

The statement reads in part, “Firstly, I wish to use this medium to advise my most respected Peoples Democratic Party 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 of wanting to contest for the presidential election in 2023, because both by the PDP constitution and by convention, it is now the turn of Southern Nigeria to produce the president of Nigeria in 2023, after President Muhammadu Buhari’s 8 years.

“To do otherwise is to invite chaos, which will lead to the disintegration of our dear country.

“Zoning has been practised in the nation’s polity even before Independence, when Tafawa Balewa, in 1954, was the prime minister, Nnamdi Azikiwe was the governor-general.

“Zoning of political offices, particularly the presidency of the country, is the best antidote to the breakup of Nigeria, and the panacea for peace and unity of the country.

“One of the reasons why the north opposed Chief Anthony Enahoro’s motion for independence in 1953, was that they felt they were not equal to the south in education; that they were not in a position to produce proportional candidates who will run an independent government with the south because at that time, they had only about 4 graduates.

“They subsequently walked out of the Parliament, went back to the north, and swore never to return to Lagos again.

“That was what led to the constitutional conferences held both at the Lancaster House in London and at Ibadan, Nigeria, purposely to keep Nigeria one.

“The impression was that no one group, or section of the country, should dominate the government of Nigeria at the expense of other parts of the country.

“It is instructive that the nation’s two main parties, the APC and the PDP, have been religiously following the zoning and rotation system between the north and the south.

“By 2023, the north would have ruled for another 8 years. It is, therefore, rational and right, to insist that the presidency should rotate to the south. It does not matter whether the presidency has been produced from the APC or the PDP since 2015.”

Clark stated that the South should decide which of its sub-regions would produce the right presidential candidate.

He expressed his dismay at those who castigated and opposed former President Goodluck Jonathan for running for another term in office on the grounds that it was the north’s turn are now the ones throwing their hats into the ring.

The statement added, “To which sub-region the presidency should be further zoned to in the south, is a different matter entirely. At the appropriate time, we will decide as to which area, section or region of the three regions of South East, South-south and South-West, should have it.

“As I have said earlier, I have observed with dismay, that some of my respected friends, especially, the former vice president Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and the distinguished former president of the senate, Bukola Saraki, who opposed former President Goodluck Jonathan for contesting the presidential elections because they felt it was the turn of the north, are now wanting to contest for the presidency under the PDP in 2023.

“They are already campaigning through the length and breadth of the country, even after a northerner will be having a straight 8 years, come May 2023.

“Is it no longer not a negation of the ‘zoning agreement,’ for which former President Goodluck Jonathan was castigated? Is it no longer threatening the unity and survival of the country?

“As the intention of these and others who may follow will be going against the zoning system of the PDP, it may even be the deciding factor for the PDP, whether to be or not to be.”

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