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PDP, APC urged to pick Southern presidential candidates

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Nigeria Equity Group (NEG) has urged the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to choose Southern Christians as their presidential candidates in the 2023 election.

NEG, an independent political movement advocating inclusion ahead of 2023, said for fairness and balance in the Nigerian political space, both parties should ensure that a Southern Christian succeeds President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023, after his two terms in office.

The body, while claiming that APC is already considering the Southern Christian option, kicked against the alleged plot by some PDP leaders to nominate a Northern Muslim as presidential candidate in 2023.

The group, in a statement jointly signed by its convener, Dr. Emeka Nwosu, and secretary, Alhaji Mubarak Muhammed Alabi, said: “We hope and pray that for the sake of national unity, peace and stability, the two major political parties rise above pedestrian and narrow partisanship and do what is right by adopting or electing competent Southern Christians as their presidential candidates in 2023.”

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It said further: “We are happy with the reports coming from the APC. We are aware that the party is now actively working towards having a Southern Christian as its presidential candidate in the 2023 presidential election. We commend the party for toeing this line of national interest and inclusion and for disappointing critics who, during its early days as a political party, sneered at it for being a ‘Janjaweed party’, a snide reference to the faith of some of its leaders.

“When the APC eventually achieves this goal, it would be demonstrating to all that it is a true national party, one that fully understands the heterogeneous complexities of the Nigerian state. And it will be recompensing its Southern Christian political leaders and members, who, in 2015, backed President Buhari, a Muslim over Jonathan, the Southern Christian candidate in that election.”

The body said it was not happy with the PDP over speculated plot by some of its leaders to nominate a Northern Muslim. It said: “We are particularly disappointed in the PDP because it is the greatest beneficiary of Southern votes and solidarity over the years. Since 2003, the PDP has received more votes form the South than any other political party and the zone has been its solid base. In the last election, the only two regions where the PDP won handily were in the South, the South East and South South.”

“It is unconscionable that the party or a section of it is considering nominating a northern Muslim presidential candidate after the tenure of another Muslim, without regard to the ethnic and religious mix of the country.”

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