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Okupe to PDP: Fielding northern candidate for 2023 presidential poll is ridiculous, unreasonable

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CHIEFTAIN of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Doyin Okupe, on Saturday, described as ridiculous and unreasonable, the proposed move by the party leaders to choose a northern standard bearer for the 2023 presidential election.

He said key decision makers in the party should take cognisance of the fact that the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) produced a northerner who, by the end of his administration, would have spent eight years in office.

Okupe, a former presidential spokesperson to the erstwhile President Goodluck Jonathan, spoke with journalists in Abuja.

While he disclosed that some prominent members of the party had insisted the party’s candidate should be of northern extraction, the politician attributed some of the defections to the zoning agenda.

“In 2023, with APC having ruled for eight years with a northern candidate, it will be preposterous, unjust, uncaring and blatant for the PDP to zone the presidential ticket to the North because the arrangement expired the moment our party lost power in 2019.

“There should be a reset of the zoning arrangement in 2023. It does not make sense to replace a northern government of eight years with another northern government for another eight years, it doesn’t make sense,” Okupe said.

“That is why the PDP should zone the presidency to the South. The southern governors who are the leaders of the South had spoken, we should listen to them.

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“It will be folly, reckless and insensitive for any political party to ignore the position of the southern governors.”

The ICIR had earlier reported multiple defections from the party to the ruling APC, from the Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi to the Governor of Cross Rivers Ben Ayade and just recently former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode.

The gale of defections has raised concerns among some of the party loyalists.

Okupe, however, warned the party might lose the next election except it considered a flag bearer from the South.

“The zoning arrangement which the PDP started since 1998 was based on the assumption that the party will be in power consistently but the moment it lost power in 2015, automatically the arrangement has to be reviewed in view of the development,” he added.

Olugbenga is an Investigative Reporter with The ICIR. Email address: [email protected] Twitter handle: @OluAdanikin

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