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Ohanaeze, Bauchi Gov, VON DG lock horns over APC’s zoning of Presidency

By Leo Sobechi, Adamu Abuh (Abuja) and Lawrence Njoku (Enugu)
26 February 2022   |   3:56 am
Ohanaeze Ndigbo has commended the All Progressives Congress (APC) for zoning its presidential ticket in 2023 to the southern part of the country.

Alex Ogbonnia,

Groups Root For Bello, Nwajiuba To Succeed Buhari

Ohanaeze Ndigbo has commended the All Progressives Congress (APC) for zoning its presidential ticket in 2023 to the southern part of the country.

The National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, while hailing the development, noted that the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) introduced the concept of zoning political offices in the Second Republic, as a way of managing diverse inter-ethnic tensions.

According to the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, the APC has, by the decision, won the heart of Southern Governors Forum and that Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Afenifere, Southern and Middle Belt Leadership Forum (SMBLF), Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and all Nigerians.

“It is hoped that the PDP will emulate the APC by zoning its presidential ticket to the South,” it added. Supporting the development, the Director-General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Osita Okechukwu, has faulted Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, for criticising APC’s zoning formula, saying that the governor failed to read the mood of the nation.

Governor Mohammed had told journalists in Abeokuta, after his visit to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, that APC’s decision to zone the presidency to the South was not a threat to the PDP, because PDP intends to reap from the high voting population of the North.

Okechukwu, a founding member of APC, while speaking with reporters in Abuja, yesterday, picked holes on the Bauchi governor’s analysis. He added: “Bala Mohammed, and by extension PDP, is simply being opportunistic by saying that APC’s zoning of presidency to the South is not a threat to PDP,”

Meanwhile, the President of Concerned Middle Belt Christian Forum of Nigeria, Prince Madaki, is not pleased about the APC zoning, as he wants Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State to lead the country after President Muhammadu Buhari.

Madaki argued that zoning the presidency to the South would shut out competent persons aspiring for the presidency to administer the country.

In the same vein, the Project Nigeria Group (PNG), yesterday, rooted for the Minister of State for Education, Mr. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, to succeed Buhari, based on his pedigree as a transformational and developmental leader.

A member of the group, Amachi Nwoha, told reporters in Abuja that the call was aimed at giving Nigerians of Igbo extraction a sense of belonging.

Nwoha, who had been Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, noted: “The issue is a prerogative of political parties. We need to carry every part of this country along. We want unity and peace. The constitution recognises fairness, equity and Federal Character. APC is not unaware of this fact. It is commonly agreed that for the purposes of equity and unity, the South East zone ought to be considered.”