APC will become Northern party if 2023 presidency is zoned to North: Okorocha

Senator representing Imo West at the Nigerian Senate has backed the decision of Southern Governors that the region must produce the next Nigerian president.

The 17 state governors from the South-West, South-East and South-South geo-political zones had unanimously demanded power shift to the protectorate when President Muhammadu Buhari completes his final term in office in 2023.

Their demand met stiff opposition from some individuals who consider themselves influential in Northern Nigeria. The opposers insist they have the numeric strength which is needed in a democracy to retain the presidency indefinitely.

Speaking at a parley organised by the Abuja council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Monday the former Imo governor said the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) has no justification not to zone its presidential ticket to South, particularly the South-East.

The lawmaker said should the ruling party zone its ticket to the North again, the party will be polarized and described as a Northern party.

He admitted that the Igbos, one of the major tribes in the country, are marginalised but the people of the South-East should be asking for a level playing ground.

“It is true, Igbos are being marginalised but that’s not what they should be talking about,” Mr Okorocha said. “We should be asking for opportunities, level playing ground.

“The argument Igbos should make … they should present this in a lighter note. The South-west, the North and South-south have governed Nigeria and we have seen how the country is. Let’s try an Igbo person. It’s a softer way to make the argument.

“There is no justification for the APC not to zone it to the South-east. I think it is just fair and understanding that the power should go to the South.

“I agree with the southern governors; they are absolutely right. That will bring peace because if you decide you want to zone it back to the north, that will polarise the party. It will begin to sound like it is a northern peoples party,” he added.