One of the most heated discussions in political circles remains who will succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
Although the southwest, and recently the north, have shown interest in producing the next president, the southeast appears to be the most invested in the 2023 presidency.
The zone rightfully argues that it is its turn to produce Buhari’s successor as it is the one zone yet to produce a president since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999.
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi state, who also doubles as the chairman of the Southeast Governors’ Forum recently defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC allegedly on similar ground.
Also, the Igbo apex socio-political organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has reportedly fixed solidarity march in the five states to campaign for Igbo presidency in December.
However, despite its justifiable argument and commitments, this piece analyses why the two leading political parties in the country, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the PDP, may not zone its 2023 presidential tickets to the southeast.
1. Southeast’s political disadvantage Political parties’ major aim is to be in power, not necessarily to appeal to ethnic sentiments. And to achieve political power in a democracy, numbers are very important.
If the APC considers giving the presidency to the south, southwest has a clear edge over the southeast in terms of numbers.
Currently, the APC controls five out of the six states in the southwest (Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Ekiti and Osun) unlike the situation in the southeast where it controls only two states (Imo and Ebonyi states).
In the 2019 presidential election, APC secured a total of 2,036,450 votes in the southwest and 403,968 in the southeast.
In terms of popularity, the APC has more goodwill and prospects in the southwest than the southeast. Thus, the party may have little or nothing to lose if it does not zone its ticket to the southeast. Besides, the southwest also has more prominent people in the APC, such as Bola Tinubu and other key chieftains, who can influence the party’s decision and secure the presidential ticket.
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