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PDP 2023 presidential ticket will be zoned to north, says BoT member

Adamu Maina Waziri, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) board of trustees (BoT), says the party’s presidential ticket will be zoned to the north.

PDP was the ruling party for 16 years before President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) defeated former President Goodluck Jonathan during the 2015 presidential election.

In an interview with Daily Trust, Waziri said Jonathan should not have contested against Buhari in 2015.

He said the agreement was to present a northern presidential candidate in 2015 as a form of filling the void created by the death of former President Umar Musa Yar’adua, who died before the end of his tenure.

The BoT member said the party will return the presidential ticket to the north, saying that is the agreement in place.

“It was based on a written understanding that President Jonathan was going to do one term and fix certain inequities that became visible in the administration of Nigeria,” he said.

“President Jonathan made a commitment and a public statement that he would like to amend the constitution, such that the tenure will be one term. He said five years or six years was better and would do electoral reform. This was because the system that brought in governments in 2003 and 2009 were disputed by the court and other observers.

“The Electoral Act would be changed and he would have several projects to embark on. But for one reason or the other, President Jonathan reneged, which became the death knell of the PDP in 2015, though, there were other contributory factors and the system was dislocated.

“As far as the PDP is concerned, the presidency should return to the North because the successor to President Jonathan in 2011 should have been a northern candidate, not Jonathan. That is the understanding in the PDP and that is what I subscribe to. We cannot enforce a system on APC neither can the APC enforce a system on PDP.”

Waziri said the PDP intends to return to power in 2023 by winning both presidential and governorship elections.

He discredited rumours that Jonathan was being considered as the presidential candidate of the party in the next election.

The PDP chieftain said the opposition party will adopt caution in the choice of its candidate, saying “the PDP wants to put forward a candidate that can win the presidency”.

“When the time comes, that overriding desire will be a major input into the decision we are going to make. I, as an individual, will be in support that the presidential candidate must be from the North,” he said.

“I want PDP to take over the governance of Nigeria, not only the presidency but the remaining states in 2023; but we must work for it. It is not manna from heaven. Yes, people should work for it and we should have a chance.”