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Nigeria’s next president must come from the South, Akeredolu tells APC

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Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu has urged leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to respect the clamours by the Southern part of the country to produce the next president in the 2023 elections.

Akeredolu, who is also the Chairman of the Southern Governors Forum, made this known in statement on Tuesday, titled ‘Our party, APC, must tread the path of equity’, saying party members shouldn’t be kept guessing on where President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor will come from.

The governor argued that the leadership of the ruling party should have no difficulty in declaring its stance on the matter, just as it has fixed various fees for the purchase of nomination forms, adding that this must be done without delay.

He further noted since the principle of Federal Character was enshrined in the 1999 Constitution, it would be disingenuous for anyone to argue against rotation.

“The party Executive Committee has fixed a fee for the purchase of the nomination form for the office. It is expected, fervently, that it will proceed to complete the process by limiting the propensities for disagreement to a region for possible micro-management. It is very expedient that we avoid self-inflicted crises before the general elections,” Akeredolu said.

“It is the turn of the Southern part of the country to produce the next President. The party leadership should have no difficulty in making pronouncement on this very important issue, just as it has fixed various fees for the purchase of forms. This must be done without delay. The principle of Federal Character is enshrined in the 1999 Constitution, as amended. It will be disingenuous for anyone to argue against rotation at this period.

“We must not keep our party men and women guessing on the position of the leadership of the party. This is the time to weigh in and take control of the process. No statement must suggest, even remotely, that the party harbours certain sentiments which may predispose it to consider throwing the contest open. This is certainly not the time for equivocation.”

Meanwhile, preparations are underway for the presidential primaries of the APC as bigwigs in the party set to jostle for the ticket. Prominent Southerners such as former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, among others will be slugging out at the primaries billed to hold this month.

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