The 17 Southern governors have been very resolute in their demand for a Southern President in the coming Presidential election in 2023. But from the look of things, that noble dream may be difficult if not impossible to be realised. Although major political parties like the All Progressive Congress, APC and the main opposition People's Democratic Party, PDP are already contemplating where its presidential ticket would be zoned to.
It could be recalled that during their meetings in Asaba, Lagos and Enugu State, the Southern governors had openly expressed their concerns about the Southern region producing the next President of Nigeria to replace President Muhammadu Buhari, whose administration would expire in 2023. As a matter of fact, the Southern governors are making strategic moves and consulting with major stakeholders in both the North and South to make sure that the exalted position is zoned to the Southern region.
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Bearing that in mind, it is very obvious that some politicians are in doubt about the ability of the Southern region to produce the next President of the country. From the foregoing, a recent report by TheCable has it that a chieftain of the opposition PDP and former chairman of Daar Communications, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, has expressed his doubts saying no southern candidate can win the election in 2023. This statement in so many ways has countered the earlier resolution of the Southern governors forum that the Southern region has what it takes to produce the next President of Nigeria.
Photo Credit: Premium Times
How did his statement countered the resolution of the Southern Governors?
It is arguable to say that the PDP Chieftain is in doubt of the ability of the Southern region to produce the next President of Nigeria and from a critical perspective, although he wants political parties, especially his party, PDP, to zone its presidential ticket to the Southern region, but he does not believe that the South can win the election against a Northern candidate. This seems very contradictory and controversial at the same time.
Dokpesi made this statement while speaking in an interview with Daily Trust. According to him, if the People's Democratic Party (PDP) decides to zone the presidency to the south, it will be fair for the ticket to be given to the South East. Why South East? Well, from all indications, the South East region is the only region in the Southern Nigeria that is yet to produce Nigeria's President since the country returned to Democratic rule in 1999. This could be a reason for the so much talked about 'Igbo Presidency' in 2023. The question is: how prepared is the South East region to produce the next President?
At this point, it could also be recalled that the governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, has said that his party is not interested in the Igbo Presidency but a President from Nigeria. Although his Ebonyi counterpart, governor Dave Umahai, has been clamouring for the region to taste the Presidency in the spirit of equity, justice and fairness like the South West, South-South and North have occupied the Aso Rock Villa.
Photo Credit: Premium Times
Meanwhile, Dokpesi has made it clear that it does not matter who becomes the next President, but whoever emerges President needs to compensate the people of the South East. Why did he say that? According to him, “if we want a new Nigeria”. He went further to say that with recent permutations ahead of the presidential election in Nigeria, the South East may find it difficult to win the election for the PDP.
Well, that is a bitter truth of the matter until it is proven otherwise. This is because if a Northerner is placed side by side with a Southerner in the contest, it is likely that the North with its voting strength would win. But for justice and fairness to prevail, the South East deserves to be given a chance to rule Nigeria in 2023.
It could be concluded that just as Dokpesi has said, so many Nigerians believe in a change of leadership to the Southern region. But the question again is: why did Chief Dokpesi say the party, PDP, should zone its presidential ticket to the South West?
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