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Duke, Amaechi or Jonathan? Speculations As South-south Targets 2023 Presidency

As the days roll by, the intrigues surrounding the next president to succeed Muhammadu Buhari gets more pronounced. The zoning of the presidency to the south as supported by many political stakeholders in Nigeria, has thrown the gates open for the southwest, south-south and especially southeast; who has been brainstorming to produce a president for the first time since 1999. However, the southeast seems to be bedeviled by internal disunity, IPOB and lack of unity of purpose. This invariably will affect their chances, given an upper hand to the southwest and south-south towards 2023. 

One region which is most favored among these three to wrestle power and win in 2023, is the southwest due to their political history and strong relationship with the majority north and some favorites, have already emerged from this region. From Tinubu to Fayemi, it seems the southwest is prepared to succeed Buhari in 2023. However, is the south-south just going to make up the numbers and allow southwest without a fight? Does the south-south have the political pedigree to compete with the southeast or southwest? With the southeast problems of disunity of purpose towards 2023 presidency, the only obstacle to the ambition of the south-south in producing the next president is the southwest. Although many may not expect the south-south to pose a serious competition, the region currently boast of some of the strongest politicians at the moment, both in PDP and APC.

However, who will they send? Far back in 2011, there was an array of strong politicians such as Goodluck Jonathan and the former governor of Delta state, James Ibori. The travails of Ibori and his subsequent imprisonment in the UK for corruption charges dented his political status and his political relevance gradually faded into darkness.

With the recent body language of the former president, Goodluck Jonathan, it is clear he may not want to run for presidency again come 2023. However, should he change his mind, what will be his chances in 2023? Which state in the region is more likely to produce a formidable candidate, amid the speculations and strategic positioning towards 2023?


Rivers State?

With the current political speculations, Rivers state may be top of the list to produce a president from the south-south. Rotimi Amaechi, a current minister under the Buhari administration and a powerhouse in APC, has been taunted as a potential candidate for presidency come 2023. However, with the competition of Tinubu and Fayemi from the west, it will be very interesting finding out, how the future will play out for him. Many have even banked on his Igbo lineage to push his relevance and chances of succeeding Buhari in 2023.

Will Rotimi Amaech be the right candidate to vie for presidency from the south-south in 2023? Perhaps there are others who could emerge from the state before 2023. Moreover, Governor Wike has also been taunted as a potential candidate, especially within the Peoples Democratic Party. What are the odds of having a candidate each from Rivers in APC and PDP? 

Edo State?

Prior to Oshiomole’s position as the national chairman of APC, many taunted him as a potential presidential candidate. With the recent dissolution of his NWC, perhaps he may be tempted to go for the presidency in 2023. However, Oshiomole may be poised on helping his close APC associate, Bola Tinubu in 2023. Considering the state’s status, Edo politicians may readily participate in the background politics towards 2023 general elections.

Delta State?

Can James Ibori still run for presidency since he was never convicted in Nigeria? James Ibori came so close to wrestling presidency from Goodluck Jonathan in 2011 before his imprisonment in the UK. However, since his release and return to the country, he has remained largely quiet in politics. Looking at the current crop of politicians in the state, it is highly unlikely, that Delta state will feature in the running for presidency come 2023.

Akwa Ibom State?

Perhaps the most notable figure from this state that may likely run for presidency in 2023 is the former governor of the state, Godswill Akpabio. However with his alleged corruption charges and the disaffection with his defection to APC, his chances may be very limited.

Bayelsa Sate?

Balyesa still boasts of one of the highest politician in the south-south region in former president, Goodluck Jonathan. Although his behavior has not suggested any interest in 2023 presidency, Jonathan still tops some person’s list of potential candidates for the 2023 presidential race. However, will Jonathan come out of retirement and run for the 2023 presidency under PDP? Will he get the needed support if he does? These questions continue to arise amid the speculations that, he may come back to serve out his second term as president, although this is highly unlikely. Perhaps former governor, Timipre Sylva may just fill in.

Cross Rivers State?

Perhaps just like Edo state, Cross Rivers may opt for background politics in 2023. However, the presence of former Governor and presidential candidate; Donald Duke makes the state one of the favorite to produce a formidable candidate for the south come 2023. Donald Duke ran as the presidential candidate for the social democratic party (SDP), in the 2019 general elections. He has tried a couple of times and maybe he stands a better chance in 2023. However, will the south-south give him the desired support towards 2023 presidential poll? Sincerely, if the goal is finding someone with integrity and indisputable characters, Donald Duke may be the best and one to pick among all the other candidates.


If the current political speculations towards 2023 are anything to go by, south-south stands a better chance of producing the next president than the southeast. The only hurdle standing in the way is the southwest due to their political ties with the north in terms of political interest. However, south-south has shown in the past that they can also align with both the north and the east. If a credible candidate like Donald Duke was to emerge as candidate, under one of the major parties of PDP and APC, south-south could be a force to reckon with come 2023.

As the speculations continue to circulate, who will the south-south send to wrestle the southwest and southeast for the next president; Donald Duke, Rotimi Amaechi or Goodluck Jonathan? 

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