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Why southern politicians scamper for presidential tickets

By Muyiwa Adeyemi (Politics Editor)
06 May 2022   |   2:45 am
The surge in the number of politicians from the South that have purchased nomination forms to contest for presidential tickets has been described as “a strategy to ensure power rotates

Buhari

The surge in the number of politicians from the South that have purchased nomination forms to contest for presidential tickets has been described as “a strategy to ensure power rotates back to the region.”

Investigations by The Guardian revealed that contrary to the impression that southern politicians may lose the ticket, parading about 35 aspirants, there are plans to reduce the number to two or three before primaries.

The possibility of both the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) adopting the indirect mode of electing presidential candidates was also said to have been responsible for the surge in the number of aspirants.

Although sources disclosed some of the aspirants purchased nomination forms as a strategy to mobilise delegates across the country for the Southern agenda and control delegates from their home states, other aspirants, described as “pretenders”, joined the race to help real “contenders” consolidate their fronts.

It was also gathered that the fear of jettisoning zoning by both APC and PDP is real, especially as a powerful cabal from the North had allegedly perfected plans to ensure another northerner succeeds President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.

 
A source said: “It is no more a secret that the PDP that has zoning clearly written in its constitution is singing another tune without amending that aspect of its constitution, while APC might have been infiltrated by the cabal not to obey its zoning agreement.”
 
The source added: “In the coming weeks, Nigerians will begin to hear campaigns that both APC and PDP should present presidential candidates from the same zone for national unity and integration.”
 
It was also gathered that southern governors that had passed a resolution, saying it is the turn of the region to produce the next president, are eager to ensure the country respects their position on power rotation in the interest of peaceful co-existence of all federating units.

Northern Governors’ Forum had dismissed the position of their southern colleagues as a threat, positing that each political party is at liberty to adopt its winning formula.

However, many Nigerians still believe most presidential aspirants, especially in the APC, purchased nomination forms to be part of the “deal of the consensus option”, also being considered by a section of the party.

They said their intention in joining the race is to protect their political future and be part of the power brokers in the post-Buhari presidency.