2023: Oyegun, Ebri Back Zoning, Say South-East, South-South, South-West Must Slug It Out

In Breaking News, National News, Politics

By Omeiza Ajayi, Vanguard Newspaper

A former National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun has weighed in on the debate regarding zoning of the party’s presidential ticket in 2023, saying there is no dispute regarding the subject as it is “universally agreed” that the next president must come from the South.

Chief Odigie-Oyegun who stated this in a telephone interview with Saturday Vanguard, however stated that as of now, there is no micro-zoning of the ticket among the geopolitical zones in the South.

His position was re-echoed by a chieftain of the party and former Governor of Cross River State, Chief Clement Ebri who said any attempt to alter the zoning formula in a very diverse country as Nigeria could have disastrous consequences.

According to Ebri, “Zoning is imperative in a multi-cultural, multi-religious and ethnically diverse country such as ours.” He said, it gives a sense of belonging to the various tendencies that came together to form a united Nigeria.

“This sense of belonging, through zoning is the only glue that can hold this country together. Any attempt to override it by any section of the country could lead to disastrous consequences. Even the make-up of our political party organs across the political parties in the country clearly defines the inevitability of that phenomenon,” Ebri stated.

Odigie-Oyegun on his part however, added that the three geopolitical zones in the South have an equal right to aspire for the presidential ticket of the APC, saying the presidency is never awarded but have to be deserved.

“It is obvious, and I think that is universally agreed that the next president should come from the South. I think that is agreed. It is not in dispute.

“So, where in the South is the issue. All interested parties will now be putting forward their best act. Presidency is never awarded, it has to be deserved. That is why it is not easy to say where in the South it will come from. You have to deserve it. You have to work for it and you have to have a good aspirant,” said Chief Odigie-Oyegun.

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