Zoning: Tambuwal states PDP position, meets Babangida, Abdulsalami

The Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, says the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is not considering zoning of the presidency to any particular region of the country in the 2023 presidential election.

He spoke to newsmen in Minna after separate meetings with the former military President Ibrahim Babangida and former Head of State Abdulsalami Abubakar in the residences of the two leaders in Minna.

Tambuwal, a presidential aspirant, said that zoning of the presidency to a particular region of the country had never been the main issue in any political party in the country since 1979.

“The main issue has been that political parties will throw out candidates and allow Nigerians to decide who to elect as their president.

“The emergence of former President Olusegun Obasanjo from southwestern part of the country in 1999 was a deliberate action by the political class to address a particular concern after the annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential election.

“Zoning of power to the southwestern part of the country was meant to assuage a particular situation at that time; not meant to completely erode the constitutional right of Nigerian citizens,’’ he said.

Tambuwal recalled that in 1979 the National Party of Nigeria (NPN), presented Alhaji Shehu Shagari as its presidential candidate, the Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP) had Dr Nnamdi Azikwe as its candidate, while the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) had Chief Obafemi Awolowo as its candidate and there was nothing like zoning.

“In 1993, the Social Demanded Party (SPD) had Chief MKO Abiola as its presidential candidate while Alhaji Bashir Tofa was the candidate of the National Republican Convention (NRC) and there was no zoning.

“Again in 2007, Chief Rochas Okoroacha from the southeastern part of the country, contested the presidency with the former President Umaru Yar’Adua, so when you look at the past, you will agree with me that zoning has not being the main issue in our political journey.

“What is paramount to PDP is how to win the elections in 2023 and not wasting all its energy on zoning controversy.

“This country at this point in time is dire need of a president with competence and capacity not a regional president,’’ he explained.(NAN)