A former Senate Leader, Mohammed Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South), has said it would amount to third term if the All Progressives Congress (APC) fields a northerner as its presidential candidate in 2023.
Ndume who chairs the Senate Committee on Army, in an interview with news men said in the spirit of fairness, justice and fair play, the party should zone its presidential ticket to the South.
Uproars have continued to trail President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew, Mamman Daura’s, statement that zoning should be jettisoned in 2023. Like in 2014, Ndume said the party should zone its ticket to the South, adding that retaining the presidency in the North would not augur well for the party and the country.
He said, “To me, as a founding member of the APC that witnessed the first convention where the presidency was deliberately zoned to the North and four candidates from the region: President Muhammadu Buhari, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Sam Nda-Isaiah, slugged it out, with Rochas Okorocha exercising his constitutional rights.
“I, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, I feel that it would not be fair, equitable and just to field a northern candidate for the presidency in APC, 2023. To me, fielding a northern candidate will be tantamount to third term; which is unconstitutional.”
He further said the fairest thing was to allow southerners to slug it out among themselves for the 2023 presidential ticket of the APC. Sen. Ndume added that, “For me, I have drawn the line already because everybody will stand before God and account for his deeds. We supported the zoning of the presidency to the North and we supported the president and he is spending his eight years in line with the constitution of the country.
“By extension, the North is only allowed to serve two terms. So, if a northerner comes in again, it does not matter whether the person is Buhari or not, or a new name, that would mean that the North is going in for a third term; which is unconstitutional.”
On the forthcoming convention of the party, he said the zoning of the party’s presidential ticket to the South would mean that the North would produce the next National Chairman of the APC. Ndume said, “I’m somebody that believes in equal rights and justice, because it is only when you adhere to that that you will have peace. “So, I don’t want to dabble into leadership zoning; but impliedly, if I’m saying that the southern part should produce the president, then the chairmanship position should go to the North.
Reacting to the likelihood of the PDP fielding its candidate from the North, Ndume said, “It is God that gives power to whoever he decides; and God is just. I’m talking about justice and equity. If there is justice and equality, then a southerner Insha Allah, from APC, will win. “PDP has not come out to say that they are likely to field a northern candidate, and their case is not the same with ours. Obasanjo did eight years from the South, Yar’Adua did just few months and died. Then another southern candidate took over for six years. To them, it is only just for them to field a northern candidate. That is why I told you that I’m speaking to you as a member of APC.”
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