Elder statesman, Edwin Clark has called out presidential aspirants from the North to forget about their ambition for the good of the country.
The leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) made this known in a statement issued on Monday, as he called on aspirants from the north to support a southern presidency.
Clark particularly advised former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, former Senate President Bukola Saraki, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, and other PDP aspirants from the North to reconsider their bid to become President in 2023 in the interest of peace and unity.
He added that the zoning of the 2023 presidency to the North will invite chaos and further lead to the disintegration of the country, stressing that it is time the South produces Buhari’s successor.
Clark argued that the concept of zoning is not written in the constitution, but the process is in the interest of the country’s unity.
The statement reads: “Firstly, I wish to use this medium to advise my most respected Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains in the persons of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, former President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, Aminu Tambuwal, Governor of Sokoto state, and other PDP aspirants from the north, that in the interest of maintaining the unity of this country to which they have contributed so much, to re-consider their desire of wanting to contest for the presidential election in 2023, because both by the PDP constitution and by convention, it is now the turn of Southern Nigeria to produce the president of Nigeria in 2023, after President Muhammadu Buhari’s 8 years. To do otherwise is to invite chaos, which will lead to the disintegration of our dear country.
“It is instructive that the nation’s two main parties, the APC and the PDP, have been religiously following the zoning and rotation system between the north and the south.
“By 2023, the North would have ruled for another 8 years. It is, therefore, rational and right, to insist that the presidency should rotate to the south. It does not matter whether the presidency has been produced from the APC or the PDP since 2015.
“To which sub-region the presidency should be further zoned to in the south, is a different matter entirely. At the appropriate time, we will decide as to which area, section or region of the three regions of South East, South South and South West, should have it.
“As I have said earlier, I have observed with dismay, that some of my respected friends, especially, the former vice president Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and the distinguished former president of the senate, Bukola Saraki, who opposed former President Goodluck Jonathan for contesting the presidential elections because they felt it was the turn of the north, are now wanting to contest for the presidency under the PDP in 2023.
“They are already campaigning through the length and breadth of the country, even after a northerner will be having a straight 8 years, come May 2023.
“Is it no longer not a negation of the ‘zoning agreement,’ for which former President Goodluck Jonathan was castigated? Is it no longer threatening the unity and survival of the country?
“As the intention of these and others who may follow will be going against the zoning system of the PDP, it may even be the deciding factor for the PDP, whether to be or not to be.”