2023 Presidential slot: Tambuwal, Southwest PDP zonal caucus bicker over zoning
The last has not been heard on the controversies trailing the zoning of 2023 presidential seat to the southern part of Nigeria by the major opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the Southwest zone of the party and the current Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal have continued to hold divergent positions.
Maintaining its position, the zonal caucus of the South West zone of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP yesterday insisted that the party’s candidate for the 2023 presidential election should come from the South.
This position was reiterated at the meeting of the South West extended zonal caucus of the party held at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan.
On the contrary, while speaking during a consultative meeting with former principal officers of the National Assembly in Abuja, Tambuwal said the southern zone did not have the figure to win the number one seat for the party, noting that “you cannot zone what you don’t have.”
While reading the communique at the end of the meeting, the Chairman of the party in the zone, Chief Soji Adagunodo, explained that the zone was in support of the Southern Governors’ forum that the next president of the country should come from the South.
The Chairman stated that the party agreed that all its members in the zone should work towards winning the forthcoming off season governorship elections in Osun and Ekiti.
“We also resolved that the unity of the Southwest is a non negotiable issue; to this end, we demand that all dispute resolution mechanisms should be on the front burner.
“The zone is desirous of fairness, justice and equity in the distribution of Federal positions and appointments.
“We will support all efforts geared towards national cohesion through equitable distribution of federal positions and appointments among the geopolitical zones of the country,” the communique read.
Those at the meeting include Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti); Olagunsoye Oyinlola (Osun); and Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo); Others include governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde; the national vice chairman of the party, Taofeek Arapaja; Chief Bode George, Ekiti former deputy governor, Olusola Eleka and Sen. Francis Fadahunsi from Osun.
On the other hand, advising the leadership of the Party and other stakeholders on the need to win the election before zoning it, the former speaker of the House Representative presented an analogy of recent elections to show why it might be difficult for the South to win the presidency for the PDP based on votes cast.
While charging leaders and stakeholders of the party on the need to prioritize winning before zoning, Tambuwal explained that “For PDP, I have a question. Are we looking for zoning or winning? Now with due respect what I’m going to say, I do not mean any offence, see my leader Olisah Metuh I’m going to use your state as a reference point. And with due respect to the people of a plateau, I’ll use your state as another reference point.”
He said, “We had an election in Anambra State. The governor of Anambra State won the election with 112,000 votes. The person next to him, the PDP candidate, secured about 53,000 votes. The third the APC candidate, had 24,000 votes. The fourth YYP candidate had about 20,000 votes. Put together in that state election, governorship, we had about 220,000 votes in between four political parties.
“Jos federal constituency in Plateau State where PDP won, the PDP candidate had about 40,000, PRP had 37,000 then APC 26,000. If you add this, it is close to a 100,000. Federal consittuency elections. So demography is an issue.”
He maintained, “That is why after the election, I appealed to PDP to look at these elections, and by elections, as we progress towards 2023.”
Recalling the election that took place in 2015, he said, “APC took their ticket to Katsina in 2015 where the last president of PDP, Yar’Adua, died in office in 2010. Five years later, APC out of strategic thinking with Bola Tinubu and the rest of them. I was part of it. We said we are looking for how to move, we must get power before we share it.
“I deliberately took APC ticket to Katsina to give President Muhammadu Buhari. Yes. Atiku contested, Rabiu Musa contested. And Sam Nda Isaiah and Rochas Okorocha, contested. But we knew where we’re going. Because we were determined to win. Let me tell you had APC given that ticket to someone from the south, in particular South South, we couldn’t have won. Go and check the election results of 2007, Buhari had 11 million votes before in 2003. But in 2007, the 7 million votes against Yar’Adua because they are from the same Katsina.
“Now, this is for PDP. In the south, as of today, PDP is in eight government houses. APC is also in eight government houses, leaving one; Anambra. In the north, APC is in 14 government houses, PDP is in five government houses. And they have the President.
“So I’m giving you this analysis so that together, as leaders of our party, who are working towards winning election, not zoning, not winning tickets.
“Yes we can share ticket and everybody can take his piece and go to his zone. But you must plan to win election. That’s the reality of it. It’s not anybody’s making. I didn’t make myself to come from Sokoto, a Fulani man. No, it’s God. God could have decided for me to be born somewhere else not in Nigeria. So we must accept these realities as a party and work with these realities to win election.
They“After when we come down and say okay, let’s share power. Win election first. Don’t win zoning o! Win the election and they will come and share power. Because the President and the Vice President cannot come from the same zone. They cannot even come from the same religion. Am I right? They can hardly be of the same faith. If you have President and Vice President Muslim-Muslim dead on arrival