SEVERAL Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidates of Igbo extraction have agreed to work together to produce a consensus aspirant as the race to next year’s elections heats up.
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 come 2023, the presidency should automatically go to the southeast geo-political zone. In a bid to ensure that the presidency does go to the southeast, four leading Igbo candidates have agreed to work together.
Former senate president Pius Anyim, former Anambra State governor Peter Obi, one-time president of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria Sam Ohuabunwa and medical doctor Dr Nwachukwu Anakwenze have signed a communique to work together. Senator Anyim read out the communique they signed, indicating that they would work towards producing a consensus candidate.
Senator Anyim said: “We have agreed to work together as a team. We will work together to ensure that a southeasterner emerges as the PDP flag bearer.
“We intend to consult with other zones on this issue and it is based on fairness and equity. In doing so, it is important to note that we have always supported other zones and we now expect them to reciprocate.”
Mr Ohuabunwa added that the aspirants from the southeast would employ every strategy to ensure that the next president of Nigeria emerged from the zone. Similarly, former defence minister and ex-organising Secretary of the PDP, Col Austin Akobundu, said the leadership of the party in the zone was in serious consultations with stakeholders from other geopolitical zones to concede the presidential slot to the southeast.