There are strong hints that the South which is not as populated as the North would be in the running for the country’s presidency come 2023.
The hint is coming as the APC and PDP prepare for non elective congresses which may, if circumstances allow, be used to set the stage for the next electoral season.
Already, northern elements within the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, are adjusting to the idea of a Southern president.
It is not clear where the South would zone the presidency if the matter is eventually settled, but the feeling that the region would be in a position to produce the next president is sending positive signals.
There is a lot of excitement across the South, following assurances by the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai that the North would not be presenting a presidential candidate when Buhari leaves office.
What this means is that the North would be respecting the existing zoning arrangement which has been in force since the return of democracy in 1999.
El-Rufai’s comments may not reflect
the view of the peoples of Northern Nigeria, but at least it raises quite a lot of hope.
It may indeed be proof of the fact that there are still men and women of conscience in the North who are willing to give the Nigerian project a chance to work.
Nigeria has operated a power sharing arrangement after Chief MKO Abiola from the Southwest paid the supreme price in defense of democracy and a mandate that was freely given to him by the Nigerian people.
20 years down the line, the North and the South have taken turns in power, with President Olusegun Obasanjo from the Southwest doing two tenures.
OBJ as he is popularly called was succeeded after his tenure in government by President Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua.
Yar’Ardua, a two-term governor of Katsina State died two years into his first tenure.
The doctrine of necessity which derived strength more from the constitution than a power sharing arrangement based on power rotation produced President Goodluck Jonathan from the South South geopolitical zone.
In 2015, Jonathan’s quest to do a second and final tenure in office was defeated by the spartan performance of the APC.
With the North almost completing an eight- year tenure under Buhari’s watch, the opportunity to govern Nigeria is again tilting towards the South.
Senator Ahmed Tinubu from Nigeria’s Southwest has kick-started his presidential campaign ont the platform of the APC.
Tinubu had failed in 2015 to lay his hands on the vice presidential ticket because the young turks in the party which included Amaechi did not believe a muslim-Muslim ticket would fly.
Now that the coast is becoming clearer, other aspirants who may be eyeing the presidency in the South would be expected to throw their hats into the ring.
While the picture is a little more glaring in the APC, the signals that are coming from within the PDP is not as promising.
Reports that are yet to be controverted indicate that Atiku Abubakar may be preparing to run on the platform of the PDP against the principle of zoning.
Part of the plan by PDP strategists who are working in the background for him is to ensure that Uche Secondus is retained as as the National Chairman.
The installation of a Southerner in that position would naturally pave the way for a northerner to run for the presidency.
Incidentally, Atiku is not the only one in the PDP with a plan of his own. There are speculations that the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal may be in the running too.
His backers have managed to bring him to the spotlight as the Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum.
Amidst calls for restructuring, growing insecurity even in the South and festering religious differences, Nigeria is resting on a key of gunpowder. Can the rotation of power be the saving grace?
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