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Do not emulate PDP, elect from South, Catholic priest begs APC

A Catholic priest, Reverend Evaristus Bassey, has urged the All Progressive Congress not to go the way of the opposition People’s Democratic Party by electing a presidential candidate from the South.

Bassey, the Parish Administrator of St. Mary Pro-Cathedral, Calabar, said it was unfortunate that northern politicians in the PDP threw their hats in the ring when it was obvious that the presidency should go to the southern region.

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar had emerged as the candidate of the PDP for the 2023 presidential election in a keenly contested primary in Abuja.

Atiku, who is from the North-East, won the poll after defeating his closest rival, the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, with
371 votes against Wike’s 237 votes.

The cleric, in a statement on Monday, however, maintained that Nigeria required the zoning of political offices for the peace of the nation to hold, saying there was no peace without justice.

According to him, it would be unfair and would amount to a politics of tension and impunity, for the president to emerge from the Northern region after eight years of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.)’s administration.

Bassey said, “The Conference of Political Parties in Nigeria should come together and agree that once a president has emerged from a certain part of the country in a double tenure of four years, the other half of the country should produce the next president.

“After eight years of the Buhari administration, it would be quite unfair and would amount to a politics of tension and impunity, for the president to emerge from the northern region.

“It is unfortunate that northern politicians threw their hats in the ring when it was obvious that the presidency should go to the southern region.

“Now that the flagbearer of the PDP has emerged from the North, the ruling APC should keep faith and zone the ticket to the South, and it wouldn’t be unfair if those who had aligned with the party from the onset feel they have a right to contest for the highest office.

“Whether from the South-West, South-South or South-East, politicians in that party should close ranks and ensure that someone emerges that is from the South.

“Nigerian youths and Nigerians of all ages should do well to break the hegemony of the two leading parties and support credible candidates from hitherto unpopular parties.

“Zoning should not remain a federal issue but should be domesticated in the states. The office of the governor, the National Assembly, and other major offices should be micro-zoned within sub-national entities for the sake of equity. Making sure these reflect in our national constitution eventually, is a task that must be done.”

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