…says it’s unfair for North to retain presidency
…warns it could trigger chaos,anarchy lWike: Nobody can undermine S’South in PDP
The Convener of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Chief Edwin Clark has called on former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, former President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, and other presidential aspirants of Northern extraction to drop their ambitions in the interest of equity, fairness unity of the country.
The elder statesman said that it is the turn of the South to produce the President of Nigeria after eight years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure. In a statement which he personally signed and made available to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, Clark warned that any insistence by Northern politicians to contest for the position in the current election season could lead to anarchy and eventual disintegration of the country.
He urged the three aspirants, who are seeking to actualise their ambitions on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to re-consider their positions because both the PDP Constitution and convention, does not support the North retaining power beyond 2023.
“The South and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, under my leadership, has held two important meetings to support the resolution of the 17 governors of Southern Nigeria, that the presidency of the country should rotate to the South. “One of the meetings was held at the Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, on May 30, 2021, which was attended by over 500 members of the Forum from the four regions of the Middle Belt, South-East, South-South and South-West. The second meeting was held also in Abuja on January 12, 2022, and had in attendance prominent members from the regions.” Clark said that he found it rather shocking that Atiku, Saraki, and others who opposed former President Jonathan’s decision to contest the Presidential elections in 2015 on the grounds that it was the turn of the North are making moves to contest in 2023.
“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, Dr. 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 eight years, come May, 2023. “Is it 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. “The recent resolution by the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum that the presidency should be zoned to the south and that those who refuse to heed to our plea/ decision, should not count on our support, is wholly supported by me, as the leader,” Clark said.