The 2023 presidential election is fast approaching as political parties and top politicians who desire to take over power from the ruling APC after the Buhari APC led administration comes to an end in less than thirty months from now are already preparing and consulting. It is arguable that the next general election would not be an easy one for obvious reasons.
In that regard, it could be said that Nigerians are eagerly waiting for political parties in the coming days to choose who would fly their party flag during the upcoming presidential election. And they would make a decision about who would lead the country as the next President. There is a bone of contention that Nigeria needs a younger and vibrant leader to take over power from President Muhammadu Buhari.
Photo Credit: Punch
Be that as it may, the Southern region based on political calculations and analysis should produce the next President. This is for the sake of equity and fairness to prevail in the country. But with the look of things, it seems the recent agitation and clamour for a Southern President by the 17 Southern governors during their meetings in Asaba, Lagos and Enugu may fall on "a deaf ear". The question is: is it justifiable for the North to retain power? What would be the implementation if power returns to the North?
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However, there are mixed feelings among Nigerians as a result of the report by The Nation that the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) wants the North to retain power by producing the next President of the country in 2023. According to the report, the spokesman of the NEF, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, and Dr Doyin Okupe, a one-time presidential spokesman, had recently disagreed on the zoning of the presidential ticket in 2023.
Photo Credit: BBC
While Baba-Ahmed argued that the next president should come from the North; Okupe warned that any political party that decides to field a candidate from the North risked losing the 2023 presidential election. At this point, it is arguable to emphasis on the issue of zoning, which has been a long-standing practice for some political parties in the country. In that regard, one may not be mistaken to say that zoning is a veritable instrument that ensures equity and balance in all political affairs of Nigeria. However, Okupe had said that zoning "gives hope and confidence and support to our national unity."
To consider the foregoing, the North should be fair enough to allow the South to produce the next President of Nigeria as wished for by the 17 Southern governors. Again, if the two most pronounced and popular political parties in the country, APC and PDP, decide to zone their presidential ticket to the Southern region, it would be fair enough to allow the South East to produce the next President. This is owing to the fact that the region has not tested the Presidency since Nigeria returned to Democratic rule in 1999. The South-South and South West geopolitical zone had ruled Nigeria from 1999 to 2015 (Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and Chief Olusegun Obasanjo).
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On a final note, the Southern governors should not only talk about producing the next President, they should wake up and prepare ahead of time. The region has intelligent and patriotic Nigerians who are capable of leading the country to the next level of growth and development. The region has the likes of Peter Obi, former President Jonathan (may come back to complete his second term) and Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the South West. In it all, the chance should be given to the South East region to produce the next President of Nigeria.
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