Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has stated that the North cannot stop the south from getting the PDP ticket and insisted that it was the turn of the South to provide the party’s standard-bearer in the election.
Wike stated this while speaking to PDP stakeholders at the Government House in Port Harcourt, and warned against undermining the interest of the South whenever the opposition party decides the choice of its presidential standard-bearer.
Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed said the party would field a candidate from the North in 2023 because the president produced by the PDP – Goodluck Jonathan – was a Southerner. Governor Mohammed noted that rotation of presidential office is for the All Progressives Congress (APC) because President Muhammadu Buhari is a northerner.
However, Governor Mohammed, Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, former Senate President Bukola Saraki, all from the North, have indicated interest to contest for President on PDP platform.
Also, Ijaw Leader Chief Edwin Clark said zoning was required for peace and national unity. The elder statesman wrote an open letter to Atiku, Saraki and other aspirants from the North, warning that the retention of the ticket in the region may be a recipe for chaos. Southern governors, last year, voted for rotation of the presidential seat to the South.
He said those planning to use money to overwhelm the internal democracy and buy off the ticket would be disappointed.
Wike said: “Please, discountenance anything you’re seeing and hearing; all those social media posts. The South will make a statement very soon. It is not about you’ll be vice president to this or that.”
“Nigerians will know that we are not joking. People take the South for granted, saying that they are not together. No problems. If we didn’t know yesterday, today, we know.
“We are assets. We are not a liability. When we say we are going to support the party, we support the party with everything we have. We are not in America where you do television campaigns.
“What is necessary is how the party must be cohesive, to make sure that the party gets it right.”
The governor said those calling for the PDP to jettison zoning of elective offices were doing that for selfish and personal interests that do not reflect the true spirit of federalism.