Akeredolu opposes APC’s plan to throw contests for presidential ticket open
Ondo State governor Rotimi Akeredolu said he opposes the plans of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to produce a presidential candidate outside the southern region of Nigeria.
Akeredolu, who serves as the chairman of Nigeria’s Southern Governors Forum, said the party’s decision is devoid of equity.
“It is the turn of the Southern region to produce the next President,” Akeredolu said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The party leadership should have no difficulty in making pronouncement on this very important issue, just as it has fixed various fees for the purchase of forms.
“This must be done without delay. The principle of Federal Character is enshrined in the 1999 Constitution, as amended. It will be disingenuous for anyone to argue against rotation at this period.”
Akeredolu’s statement comes days after APC newly appointed chairman Abdullahi Adamu said the party has not zoned its presidential ticket to any region of the country.
Current Nigeria president Muhammadu Buhari from the northern region is billed to finish his second term in office by 2023.
Akeredolu, who was part of the attendee at the APC convention where political offices were swapped between regions to pave way for Adamu’s emergence as chairman, urged the party to thread the path of equity.
“We must not keep our party men and women guessing on the position of the leadership of the party. This is the time to weigh in and take control of the process,” Akeredolu said.
“No statement must suggest, even remotely, that the party harbours certain sentiments which may predispose it to consider throwing the contest open. This is certainly not the time for equivocation. Equity dictates that we take a stand.”
The Ondo State also dispelled claims by some members of the APC, suggesting that zoning any political office is unconstitutional and undemocratic.
“The current political dispensation is anchored by the unwritten convention driven by a principle of equity,” Akeredolu said.
“Political expediency dictates, more appealingly, that while adhering to the spirit and letters of the law guiding the conduct of elections and succession to political offices, we must do nothing which is capable of tilting the delicate balance against the established arrangement which guarantees peace and promotes trust.”