Before the 2023 presidential election, there has been a cold war between the APC caucus over the presidential ticket zoning disagreement.
Nigeria online news gathered that the Congress of All Progressives has said it is currently not concerned with presidential zoning in 2023.
This was revealed on Tuesday by APC’s undersecretary of National Advertising, Yekini Nabena, while speaking during an interview with The PUNCH.
According to The Punch, Yekini Nabena went to great lengths to avoid questions when asked if APC had any agreements on zoning before the 2015 elections.
The Punch reported that Nabena spoke amid a revelation from some APC chiefs that prior to the 2015 elections, their leaders had an unwritten agreement on presidential zoning.
Furthermore, during an interview with journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, Minister of Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola hinted that there was a gentlemen’s agreement on zoning.
This online news outlet understands that other APC heads, including the immediate previous National Vice President (South South), Hilliard Eta, and the Director General of the Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu, supported the minister.
Recall that the director general of the Forum of Progressive Governors, Dr. Salihu Lukman, had insisted on Monday that the party’s presidential candidacy would be open to all members to compete in 2023.
Lukman, in an interview with reporters, dismissed speculation circulating that the party had agreed to a zoning agreement.
In his words, “The level playing field at APC has been well conceived, nurtured, and is now gaining more traction by the day. For example, everyone can see that the place is open, whether you call it with reference to 2023 or with reference to any election. It is about the fact that the spirit of political contention in the party is now very high. It means that if you want to negotiate, as a good negotiator if you want to probe, as a good colporteur of a specific interest, the part depends on you. “
But on Tuesday, Fashola said that while the zoning issue was more of a gentlemen’s agreement at APC, it was up to the parties who signed such an agreement to honor it.
What the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola said about the APC Zoning Agreement
“Let’s talk about law first. Let’s talk about agreements. The law is the constitution. The constitution decides the age at which you can contest certain positions and there is nothing in the constitution that says zoning. They are all political parties, they are clubs in which agreements are drawn up as in a social club and we can decide that it is the youngest person who presides over the club or we can decide that it is the oldest person or the next woman or the next. masculine, that is the question of agreement between people.
“But the constitution that establishes the climate for the formation of political parties does not prescribe zoning. The truth is that what makes an agreement special is the honor in which it is done, not if it is written. If it were written, there would be no court cases for breach of contract because it is a written and signed document that reaches the courts. But the private agreement he makes with his brother and sister cannot be broken. It must be honored.
He further explained that the best policy was one that improved good governance and had a positive impact on the lives of the majority, especially the vulnerable in society.
The APC chief said: “I belong to a party, APC, and it is committed to good government because I believe that the best policy is good government. For me, beauty is the opportunity it offers to impact people’s lives. We have elections only once every four years, but we have a responsibility to provide good governance every day and that is the culture. “
Speaking about the chances of APC retaining power in 2023, he said: “Staying in power in 2023, certainly if we deliver on our promises, is that simple. That is politics. If you do what you said you would do even if you don’t do it 100% and they see that you are progressing, they will even want you to finish something you started. “
Supporting Fashola, Eta, in an interview with The PUNCH, explained that there was no written agreement to rotate or zone power.
He, however, said: “I think it was an understanding of our failures.
“We do not operate on an island. Our constitution also recognizes zoning in a way that is why it included the North and South National Vice Presidents, as well as six zonal National Vice Presidents. ”
Likewise, another founding member of the APC, who was the Bauchi Secretary of State of the Action Congress, later Nigeria Action Congress, Abdullahi Dauda, also explained that there was an agreement in principle.
Dauda said this in an interview in an interview in Abuja on Tuesday. He explained that there was an understanding among party members that power would rotate between North and South when the party was formed.
He said, “While it is true that there is no written agreement, there was an understanding. It was based on this understanding that at least five of the six southwestern states ensured that President Muhammadu Buhari received block votes to win the presidential elections first in 2015 and also in 2019.
“It is expected that by 2023, when Buhari completes his second four-year term, a candidate from the southern part of Nigeria will succeed him, this is the only fair and just thing to do.”
Furthermore, another member of the party’s foundation, who until the formation of the APC was a member of the Congress for Progressive Change, Okechukwu, said: “It has been a convention since 1999. I remember that the same arrangement ensured that former president Olusegun Obasanjo of the Southwest emerged as the candidate to compete against a fellow Southerner, Olu Falae, in 1999; the same arrangement led the late President Umaru Yar’Adua to compete against General Muhammadu Buhari in 2007. It was a gentlemen’s agreement intended to Foster national unity. , fairness and good conscience. It is not like something written. It is like a convention and a moral code or, as the British would say, it is an unwritten constitution. One of the reasons President Jonathan lost is that a part of the country that felt it was his turn felt cut off. “
Zamfara State APC President Alhaji Lawal M. Liman said there was a gentlemen’s agreement regarding zoning.
However, he said that, as a member of the party, he would abide by the divisions taken by the national leadership.
“There is such an agreement, but as a party official at the state level, we will always respect the decision of the party leadership.
According to Liman, the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retired), who is the leader of the party, knows best what to do to keep the party stronger and more united.
“We have no alternative but to always respect the leadership of our great party and whatever decision they are going to make, we have no objections,” Liman said.
In Gombe state, a party chief, Habu Muazu, said zoning would remain in the 2023 presidential election.
Muazu affirmed this in an interview with one of our correspondents, adding that the merit will be a focal point for the party in the next elections.
He said, “It will remain; for the sake of peace and the unity of the country. There is nothing wrong with zoning. “
Bu Nabena said that zoning had not been discussed. When asked if the issue was agreed upon during the party’s formation and if the party was obliged to abide by that agreement, he said: “It has not been discussed yet. We have not yet reached that stage; we still have to do our party and convention registration. When we get to the point where these issues are discussed, it will not be a secret. “