The South West Presidential Hopefuls – OpEd by Dr. Reuben Abati


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Most of the politicians whose names have been
mentioned in connection with Nigeria’s 2023 Presidential election, either as a
hopeful or an aspirant would readily tell you it is too early to talk about the
next election. Don’t buy that. They are lying.  The race for the next
Nigerian elections began immediately the last general elections ended. The
politicians are at best hedging their bets. Perhaps for this reason: The two
major political parties – the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s
Democratic Party (PDP) are busy watching and spying on each other. They have so
far refused to announce their zoning formula, but even with all that talk about
merit and competence, both parties will still adopt a zoning principle at all
levels.

The way I see it, the questions to consider are as
follows: Will the Presidency be zoned to the North, the East or the South? The
people of the South East have already stated clearly, and they are not joking
about this, that the only way to ensure equity, fairness and justice is to
allow the Presidency go around the six geo-political zones before anyone begins
to reject zoning. Meanwhile, what we have seen across the country’s six
geo-political zones, are persons who have been testing the waters, flying
kites, engaging in whispering campaigns, auto-suggesting the future of Nigeria.
I intend to devote some time to a deconstruction of the emerging trends,
particularly in the South West where members of the APC have made it clear that
there is an outstanding Memorandum of Understanding within the party dating
back to 2014/2015. The understanding is that after President Muhammadu Buhari’s
tenure, the Presidency will be zoned to the South West. Key political figures
in the South West wing of the APC are relying on this promise and agreement.
Who are they? What is the state of play? Will the APC keep the promise? My
preliminary reading is as follows:



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