2023: APC’s Zoning No Threat to PDP—Bala Mohammed


Bauchi State Governor and 2023 Presidential hopeful, Bala Mohammed, says the zoning arrangement adopted by the All Progressives Congress does not pose any threat to the Peoples Democratic Party in the forthcoming 2023 presidential election.

The PDP chieftain made this known on Wednesday when he visited former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The PUNCH had earlier reported that the Chairman of APC Progressive Governors’ Forum and Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu, on Tuesday, revealed that the APC had agreed on a simple, equitable zoning formula for all the six geopolitical zones by swapping positions between northern and southern zones.

Bagudu had said, “We have agreed on a zoning formula for all the six geopolitical zones and essentially we swapped. Northern zones will take positions that southern zones held in the last eight years and vice versa. So, it is a very simple, equitable and fair formula.”

Before the inauguration of a caretaker committee led by Yobe State Governor, Mala Mai Buni, the ex-APC chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, is from Edo State in the South-South while the incumbent President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), is from Katsina State in North-West.

Automatically, the APC, with its declaration on Tuesday, has zoned the 2023 presidential ticket to the South and the chairmanship ticket to the North ahead of the ruling party’s March 26 national convention.


But Mohammed, during his visit to the strongman of Hilltop in Abeokuta, said the zoning of the Presidency to the South by the APC “is not a threat to the PDP, because each party is trying to strategise, to plan and organise. If they zone to the South, it is open to us to see how it is going to give us more electoral victory or if we put it to the North it will give us more electoral victory”.

The PDP presidential aspirant added, “This is the kind of things we are doing; the leg works, the permutations and so and so forth. So that, at least, whatever we are going to do, is give us and provide for Nigerians to choose between the best alternatives.”

Mohammed said the PDP still needed the wisdom of Obasanjo to rebuild the party and take back power from the APC.

“So, I have come to sound his (Obasanjo’s) opinion on some the things going in the party, to close ranks and make sure that we provide Nigerians with the opportunity to rescue the country, from the present division going around which we have found ourselves,” he said of his mission to the ex-President.

On his chances of getting the PDP’s presidential ticket in 2023, the Bauchi governor expressed optimism and noted that leadership should be based on merit.

Aside from Mohammed, Northern PDP chieftains who have shown interest in getting the PDP’s 2023 presidential ticket include former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; former Senate President, Bukola Saraki; Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal; and ex-governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso.

With just about one year to the 2023 presidential election and a few months to the party primaries, there has been intense pressure from the southern region of the country for power shift to the region from the north.

The 17 southern governors and socio-political groups including Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Pan Niger Delta Forum and the Middle Belt Forum had constantly insisted that power moved to the south in 2023 after the eight-year regime of Buhari.

The groups had declared that political parties that field northern presidential candidates won’t enjoy their support in the 2023 general elections.

Also, foremost Ijaw national leader, Chief Edwin Clark, recently urged northern presidential aspirants to reconsider their ambition to avoid “chaos” in the country.

Aside from northern politicians, some southern stalwarts of the PDP including former Senate President and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Pius Anyim; former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose; ex-governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi; media personality, Dele Momodu, amongst others have also expressed interest in clinching the party’s 2023 presidential ticket in the primary which is expected to hold later this year.

Other presidential hopefuls so far outside of the PDP include APC leader, Bola Tinubu; Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi; ex-Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha; former Governor of Abia State and Majority Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Kalu; former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Kingsley Moghalu, among others. Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has also been rumoured to nurse an ambition to succeed his boss through the 2023 election but the professor of law has not officially made his intention known.

While politicians are engrossed in the zoning debate, the concerns of millions of Nigerians are about the emergence of a President who would stabilise the economy, force down inflation through sagacious fiscal policies, provide conducive operating environment for businesses to thrive, boost food production, secure lives and property, provide good infrastructure, quality education and affordable healthcare services.


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