The Senator representing Borno South in the red chamber, Ali Ndume, has said that the Northern region of Nigeria has more to gain from a Southern Presidency, which he described as “inevitable”.
Ndume, who is a former leader of the Northern Caucus of the All Progressives Congress, insisted that the ruling matter must zone its 2023 Presidency to the Southern region comprising the South-West, South-East and South-South geopolitical zones.
The Senator spoke on Tuesday when he featured as a guest on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ programme. Chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum and Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, on Tuesday, said the APC would ignite self-inflicted crises if it refused to unequivocally zone the 2023 Presidency to the South.
Speaking on Tuesday, Ndume said, “I am a Nigerian, I am from the north and I believe in justice, equity and fairness. What Akeredolu said is my advice to the party. Even if they delayed it a bit, it doesn’t change the position; it is an inevitable one because the national chairman, in principle, not in writing was agreed from the north after the south has been the chairman. And as you can see, nobody contested the chairmanship of the APC from the south.
“In 2015, when it was also agreed in principle that the presidency should come from the north, nobody from the South-West, South-South went into the contest. It’s not because there were no capable hands here but (it was) based on this principle. So, this time around, I don’t think that should change.
“The principle of federal character is a constitutional matter. In fact, federal character is more encompassing than zoning; you zone based on federal character.
“If APC zones it and it should zone it to the south, then other parties can zone it to wherever they want and it is Nigerians that would choose whoever they want.
“Personally, I feel we will be better of with a President coming from the South. The current President comes from the North and if you look at it analytically, the South benefited more. So, if the President comes from the South, we (the North) will benefit more, just as we did previously under (then President Goodluck) Jonathan.”
Ndume, who is from Borno State in the North, is leading the presidential campaign of a former Governor of Rivers State and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, from the South.
Aside from Amaechi, other southerners in the APC presidential race include former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu; Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba; Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige; Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi; Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi; former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha; former Abia State Governor, Orji Kalu; and former Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun.
Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has also emerged from the north while Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, and some other northern aspirants have been reported to consider throwing their hats in the ring ahead of the party’s presidential primary later this month.