The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige has revealed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) will honour the zoning agreement in choosing its 2023 presidential candidate.
The Minister who pointed out that zoning is an unwritten agreement among politicians in the country said the APC is expected to zone its presidential candidate to the south.
He added that the dominant mood in the country is for a southerner to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 and the APC will be tilting towards this while the party National Chairman is expected to emerge from the North.
“So, we expect that our national chairman this time around will come from the North and our Presidential candidate will come from the South and it is left for the Southerners to decide the zone it will go among Southeast, South South and South West but for equity and moral ground, the South East should being the only yet to produce the President since 1999,” he said during a chat with journalists in Anambra State.
Ngige also submitted that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will be shocked by Nigerians during the 2023 presidential election.
This is as he alleged that the PDP leadership is planning to choose a northerner as its candidate, adding that Nigerians will shock PDP if it decides to go that way as there will be a revolt against the party at the polls.
The Minister added that as a former PDP member and founding member of the party, he is aware the PDP constitution supports the rotation of political offices between the north and south and any attempt to choose a northerner as its presidential candidate in 2023 will be a backstab on southerners.
He said: “Their top apparatchik thinks they are smart. They want to play a fast one. They are waiting for APC to say South. Their calculation is that when that happens, they will go North. Number one, that will be an act of bad faith because it will mean that they have taken the people in the South South and South East that have all along supported PDP 90 percent in all the elections, for a ride.
“The PDP will be shocked the way the South East, the South South and other minorities, in fact, Nigerians as a whole will revolt. I was a founding member of the PDP. I was in its National Executive Committee as the Assistant National Secretary, South East and served in many strategic standing committees. I was elected governor on the platform of the PDP. I know that the constitution of the PDP is clear on rotation of power and zoning of offices between the North and South.
“So , if they are waiting for our great party the APC to choose a Southern candidate so they can quickly turn and present a Northern candidate at a point the dominant mood in the country is for power to shift to the South, then, they are deceiving themselves. Nigerians will shock them.”
According to Ngige, even the country’s constitution tacitly supports zoning and power rotation as it ensures no particular tribe or region dominates others unnecessarily.
Supporting his constitutional claim, Ngige pointed to Section 14 (3) of the 1999 constitution (as amended) which stipulates that “composition of government at the national, states and even local government level, in such a way that there should be no actual or perceptions of domination by any single tribe or group of persons from one ethnic nationality so as to engender confidence and patriotism.”
“Governance and equitable sharing of offices at all levels of the federating units stem from this provision. So in effect, we all agree, flowing from that constitution that government at any level, the legislature, the executive and even to an extent, the judiciary, should reflect national spread in manner no particular group should dominate the other.
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