By 2023, President Muhammadu Buhari will complete his second term and leave office. Since the South East has never produced the President despite having one of the three major ethnic groups in Nigeria, the demand is that the zone should be allowed to produce the next number one citizen of the country. But, there are strong reasons that may make that not to work out. This article will discuss three main reasons why Igbos may lose out in their quest for a President of Igbo extraction as they hope to get the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress, APC in 2023.
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First, APC does not have good stand in the South East. No party will like to risk or gamble with its chances. As the party in power, APC will like to retain power. As a result, the wise thing to do is to zone the presidential ticket to a zone where it has a firm hold on. Currently, APC only rules two states out of five in the South East. It means that APC does not control half of the South East. In fact, the party and all discerning minds know how the two states came to be APC States.
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Second, APC has never won any South East state at the pool. The true test of popularity of any political party is its ability to win an election at the poll by winning majority of the votes cast by the electorate. APC currently rules Imo State and Ebonyi State. However, it did not win any of the two at the poll. APC won Imo through the judgment of the Supreme Court amid great controversy after Hon. Emeka Ihedioha of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was initially declared winner of the election and sworn in. Also, APC took over Ebonyi from PDP after Governor Dave Umahi defected from PDP to the ruling party. PDP still maintains a good hold on the two states despite APC being in power. APC knows this fact and it is risky to give its ticket to the zone that it does not even have a good hold on.
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Third, APC may prefer South West instead. This is another factor that may work against South East in 2023. APC may prefer to give the ticket to South West where it has more control and support base in. Out of six states in South West, APC controls five states. In fact, it only lost the sixth one which is Oyo State in 2019 and hopes to take it back in 2023. Again APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu, Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, its former interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande and other bigwigs with major influence across the nation are all from the South West.
Many of them are interested in the presidential ticket and they are strong allies to both President Buhari and top leaders of the APC. All these may make the South East to lose out in the race to get the APC ticket. Already, PDP plans to zone its presidential ticket to the North which means that South East may not get that one too. Igbo President may be possible only if things change and if the major parties all agree to zone their presidential tickets to the South East against all odds.
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