A former National Chairman All Progressives Congress (APC) has shed light on the controversial zoning of the presidential ticket of the party to any part of the country as it being widely bandied about, insisting that the party has no written document to that effect.
Odigie-Oyegun, who made this known in an exclusive interview, also gave his own understanding of who succeeds President Muhammad Buhari in 2023.
He said: “Well, I don’t think there is any written document that everybody agreed to A, B or C on zoning. What is important is that these things are simple, plain, common understanding.
“A nation of such diversity both in terms of ethnic, religion and whatever you have must think of involving all the major groups in the process of decision making; it must think of involving all the groups in the governance of the country and must so balance them that every group sees themselves as active participants in the process of governance, any other thing is just wishful thinking.
“So, all these arguments about zoning or no zoning or there was no time this thing was discussed is actually a waste of time. It is common sense that if you want to build a Nigeria mission, then you must think West, North and you must think South.”
He continued: “Thank God that virtually every part of this country today can produce somebody of presidential timber or any position.
“I mean look at what is happening to Nigerians all over the world, a Nigerian is likely to be the Deputy Head of the equivalent of the Nigeria Central Bank of the American Treasury. So, we have people all over, therefore the issue of zoning shouldn’t arise because people exist and you must make every part of this country feel equal participation and equal access and that is zoning.”
The issue of zoning has become a very contentious matter in the party with some insisting that since the north has served eight years in charge of Aso Rock, courtesy of President Muhammadu Buhari, it should be the turn of the South to have a crack at the Presidency in 2023.
However, even this is an issue with party members divided as to which part of the South should carry the flag – the South West or the South East.
Those pushing for the South East stress that this is the only region in Nigeria to have never occupied Aso Rock and thus it was only fair that they are given a chance in two years’ time.
Those in this camp also point to the fact that the South West has held the Vice Presidential slot since 2015 through Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Buhari’s deputy.
But there are those in the South West who are pushing for a candidate from the zone with a prominent personality from the zone already believed to have revered his machinery to have a crack at securing the keys to the Presidential Villa at the next General Elections.