From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
An All Progressives Congress (APC) group, Northern Progressive Agenda (NPA), has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari and the national leadership of the party, to resist the temptation and pressures of zoning the presidential ticket of the party to the North.
Mwking the appeal at press conference held in Abuja on Friday, the group pleaded with the leadership of the party, political elites from the north, especially the governors and delegates alike to show good faith by ensuring that power shifts to the southern region.
Spokesperson of the group, Domnic Alancha, specifically requested the emergence of the former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as the flagbearer of the party for next year’s presidential election.
“It was the same south, following the merger that produced the APC that supported President Buhari, a northerner to clinch the ticket, win the presidential election and is now running out his second term. Having enjoyed all these cooperation from the southern region, do we want to prove that we are ungrateful people by refusing to stand by them when it is our turn to do so?
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and by extension her presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar has already demonstrated bad faith by ceding the ticket to the north. Our political elites in the APC and the north as a whole must not display that sense of ingratitude which is not one of the character trait of an average northerner.
“The north did it in 1999 by refusing to present any candidate in the two major political parties that contested the presidential election then. Those of us in the APC can do it again in 2023. The NPA therefore call on President Buhari to reciprocate the gestures of the south of which he is a great beneficiary by refusing to listen to the call for the north to retain power.
“We also call on the leadership of the APC, political elites from the north, especially the governors and delegates alike to show good faith by ensuring that power shifts to the southern region. We must not allow our greed for power to cause us unwarranted and irredeemable reputational damage in the eyes of other Nigerians.
“While the southern region boast of many qualified and competent individuals fit for the office of the president, we are calling on the party to particularly narrow its search to the person of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu whose many contributions and sacrifices exemplified in the opportunities given to Atiku Abubakar, Mallam Nuhu, President Buhari and many more has benefited the north more than it has benefited his own region of the south and south west in particular.
“We believe that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not just the best among the contending forces from the southern region, he is the only man with the requisite political experience, extensive network and the national appeal to win election for a political party like the All Progressives Congress, especially considering that Atiku, whom though is not a match for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is also a political heavyweight that has stayed long enough in the political arena to understand the game far better than any of the other contestants aside Bola Tinubu.
“We must reiterate the fact that what the north needs at this time is not political power. If we have had it for many years without commensurate benefit to the average northerner, then it is only proper to explore another option. The north needs an opportunity to improve on its economy, security, healthcare, education, industrial development and many more, so that it can compete favorably with the south and even rank better, especially considering the enormous advantage it has over the other.
“We want to see a north where its huge population will be for economic advantage and not just for political purposes. We want to see a north where the vast landmass will be turned into agriculture fields that will birth industries and create jobs for the teeming youths. We want to see a north where students will not have to be given lower cut off mark before they can be admitted into schools. We want to see a north that works and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is a trusted ally that can make this happen,” the group said.