A pressure group, the Progressive Yoruba Youth Congress, has said that giving support to the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, will hinder the return of the presidency to the southern part of Nigeria in 2023.
Addressing a press conference, in Lagos the national president of the group, Kola Salawu, urged the South West to reject the PDP and its candidate and support President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term.
According to Salawu, “South West does not need to go back to oblivion again and we must rise up to protect this ongoing progress and support the one who has brought development to the zone.
“When President Muhammadu Buhari’ s tenure ends in 2023 after he wins the 2109 elections, power will return to the southern part of Nigeria and that is just some four years away.
“We never can tell what will happen then as the highest ranking person in this government from the south is Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. It may just be his turn.
“We urge all sons and daughters of the South West to be politically awake and choose wisely in the forth-coming elections as the decisions we make will determine if the region will continue to enjoy the true benefits of good governance or we go back to the days of total neglect.
“During the last PDP-led Federal Government, the South West was completely neglected. The area with the highest number of intellectual professionals was denied any meaningful position in the top hierarchy of political office holders.
“At some point, there was nobody from the South West occupying any of the top ten positions in the country.”
Salawu further stated that the South West, through its major political leaders, decided to act.
He continued, “They pushed for alliances with other political parties across the country to form the new All Progressives Congress (APC). They mobilised the South West to vote the new party which ultimately resulted to victory the APC at the polls.
“Politically, the APC has taken care of the interest of the South West tremendously. The Vice President and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representative is from the South West. There are 68 ongoing road projects in the zone.
“It is obvious to all that there is a huge difference in what the South West got under the previous PDP government and what they are getting now.
“The master stroke was the recognition of June 12 as Democracy Day and the honor given to Chief MKO Abiola, something that even the Olusegun Obasanjo government refused to get done.
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“To our amazement, when the PDP were going to have their convention in 2017 to pick their new party executives, the party agreed to zone the party chairmanship position to the South West but alas, that did not happen, the position was given to the South- South.
“After their party presidential primaries where Atiku Abubakar emerged candidate, he picked Mr. Peter Obi from the South East geo-political zone as running mate.
“It was reported in the news media that the PDP has decided to give the position of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) to the South West. This is very laughable.”