New Telegraph

2023 presidency: Afegbua ditches Atiku, asks PDP to field southerner

Ex-Edo State Commissioner for Information, Prince Kassim Afegbua, has advised the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to field a southerner for the 2023 presidential election.


Afegbua, who gave the advice in a statement entitled, “2023: Atiku and the age of Methuselah politics, at the weekend, warned his party against making ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar its candidate for the election.


He urged Atiku, who lost the 2019 election to President Muhammadu Buhari, to quit the presidential race and support a southern candidate in the spirit of fairness, equity and justice.


Afegbua expressed concern that Atiku appears to have assumed the role of a “perpetual candidate or professional aspirant”, asking him to give younger Nigerians a chance.


According to him, it will be immoral for Atiku to continue to express interest in the 2023 election, having been on the political scene for over 40 years and attained what could be described as “retirement age” in politics.


The spokesman for the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organisation in the 2019 election said: “It defeats all sense of logic for such an old man to attempt another round of political contestation at a time the general feeling and mood in the country supports a younger Nigerian from the Southern part of the country.


“It will be against the run of play and natural justice for any aspirant of northern extraction to show interest in the 2023 presidential election within the Peoples Democratic Party.


“It will offend national sentiments, emotions, and logic for anyone from the North to show such interest given our diversities and heterogeneous political configurations. Given the PDP’s doctrine of political power balancing and fairness, it will be against its own unwritten rule to cede the ticket to any Northern aspirant least of all Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.”


Afegbua told the former Vice President and other northern aspirants to support the aspiration of “an upwardly mobile and younger element” from the South to fly the PDP flag. He said: “The Southern geopolitical zones of Nigeria has eminently qualified Nigerians and parade great minds that are competent and ready to take a shot at the number one job.


Those who are advancing the very nebulous theory of seeing the northern population as a stimulant to win the sympathy of the North against the South are either ignorant of the real demographics or at best, just playing the ostrich. No one in the North should take away what belongs to the South.


That will be hurting the consciences and feelings of the average southerner “For 2023, an Atiku candidacy will be like promoting an expired product in the face of very compelling reason to look down South in our quest to wrestle power from the fractured APC.”


The ex-commissioner urged the PDP National Executive Committee (NEC) and National Working Committee (NWC) to speak with one voice in ensuring that the South produces the standard-bearer in line with the party’s vision of promoting inclusiveness, a fundamental principle of democracy.

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