FORMER senate president Senator Pius Anyim has declared that he will run for Nigeria’s presidency in 2023 whether his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) zones the position to the southeast geo-political zone or not.
Although not constitutional, Nigeria’s component parts have a gentleman’s agreement that the presidency will rotate between the north and the south of the country. President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure will end in 2023 and being a Fulani northern Muslim, it is expected that the next president will come from southern Nigeria.
Since the return to democracy in 1999, the southwest has produced President Olusegun Obasanjo and the south-south President Goodluck Jonathan, so ideally, come 2023, the presidency should automatically go to the southeast. Yesterday, Senator Anyim who served as senate president between 2000 and 2003, announced that come what mat, he would be throwing his hat into the ring.
Senator Anyim said: “Posters of my presidential bid and agitations by groups for me to contest flooded the social media in 2020 and I disassociated myself from such calls. I felt that it was too early for such a declaration, to enable the present administration to concentrate on governance.
“Such calls resurfaced in the early part of 2021 and I chose to be quiet over the issue. We currently have less than 18 months to the next elections and I feel the time is ripe to indicate my interest.”
A native of Ebonyi State, Senator Anyim was recently detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged fraud while in office as the secretary to the federal government. He said that the zoning committee instituted by the party was only saddled with zoning party positions and not public offices..
“Zoning of such positions was deferred but nothing stops anyone from the southeast zone from contesting the presidency, even if it is not zoned to it. The most important thing is that the party’s national convention is a sort of rebirth for a group of people who have recovered from a setback,” Senator Anyim added.