Nobody can zone the 2023 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential ticket based on ethnicity and tribal politics, former Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido said yesterday.
According to the former minister of Foreign Affairs, the party’s standard bearer will be picked based on credibility and popularity.
Lamido spoke in his Bamaina, Jigawa home town, when he received Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal. Tambuwal, accompanied by former Sokoto State Governor Attahiru Bafarawa and former Deputy Governor Mukhtar Shagari, visited Lamido to solicit support for his presidential bid.
Lamido said: “It is painful and disturbing for any reasonable and patriotic Nigerian who is concerned with country’s unity and progress to advocate for, tribal, religious or reginal politics to produce Nigerian leader.He added: “Nobody will zone any position to any part of the country for selfish reasons or intimidation. It is undemocratic, unacceptable and we will not allow it to happen”.
On Tuesday, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike insisted that the presidential ticket of the PDP should be zoned to the South, so that a Southerner may succeed President Muhammadu Buhari. Lamido’s comment appears to be a direct reply to Wike.
Also speaking in Channels Television last night, Lamido said: “In the past, we embraced zoning to balance the political equation in the country. But now, we need to hurt ourselves with zoning arrangement, but we seek for leaders who have been tested and proven with national outlook.”
“Zoning is not new to us in Nigeria’s political family. But, democracy should address the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians. Zoning at that time was for a caucus. “The issue of zoning was adorned at a particular time to solve a particular problem but now Nigeria needs a leader with a national outlook, having the interest of the country at heart.
“I don’t believe in any regional consensus but in Nigeria’s consensus. I want people who believe in Nigeria to come together and deliver Nigeria’s consensus” the former state governor said.
Also yesterday, PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) Chairman Jibril Walid, said Wike is not expected to say anything other than support the call for power shift because he was a member of the Southern Governors Forum (SGF) than took the decision last year on power rotation to the South in 2023.
Explaining further on his position, Lamido said: “We fought for the return of the country to democracy. And we decided to give a Yoruba man the presidential ticket just to cool down the tempo of those offended from the Southwest.”
Tambuwal said “the country is at present in a horrible and confusing situation that need a competent leader who can restore normalcy come 2023”.
He promised to lead the PDP to victory in 2023 if given the ticket.
He added: “Nigeria needs urgent attention from the concerned people to intervene through the ballots for a positive change that will come from the PDP.”
“We are in Jigawa and Bamaina, not for campaigning, but to have a consultation with my father, the former governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido. I need his fatherly support for my presidential ambition when the time comes.
“We need a competent President who can address the present challenges that are threatening the corporate existence of Nigeria as one united country in Africa.”