Human and vehicular traffic was on a standstill for an hour plus on Wednesday at both national secretariats of the governing party, All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
A group, under the auspices of Concerned Nigeria Citizens (CNC), barricaded both secretariats demanding that the parties must zone their presidential tickets to the South.
CNC, which has representatives from the six geopolitical zones, said the principles of justice, equity and fairness demand that executive power be zoned to the South after the tenure of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
According to a letter signed by the CNC convener, Femi Osabinu, and secretary, Sidi Ali, dated April 4, 2022, and addressed to the National Chairman of PDP, Iyorchia Ayu, and his counterpart in the governing party, Abdullahi Adamu, the group lamented that the parties were yet to reveal their zoning arrangements to Nigerians few weeks to their Presidential primaries.
According to the letter, CNC said the rotation of power in Nigeria went beyond mere aspiration of political parties, but also a tool, towards ensuring national unity and stability, and in this regard, candidates from the southern Nigeria must be allowed to occupy the position of President in the country come 2023.
“We also wish to remind you, that the established convention is that power must rotate between the North and the South. Hence a President of northern extraction follows that of Southern extraction and vice versa. Any consideration outside of this is foul and may destabilise the polity.
“It is only fair that, after President Muhammadu Buhari, power must come to the south. Any argument against this is inimical to the unity and stability of our nation.
“It is equitable that once the above stands and power is conceded to the south, we will not only be respecting this established convention of power rotation, but we will also be contributing to the dire need to restore stability and national cohesion into our polity,” the letter partly read.
After its 95th National Executive Committee meeting on March 16, the PDP constituted a 37-member zoning committee headed by Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue State.
Since the zoning Committee submitted its report on April 12, the party had yet to disclose the actual recommendations of the committee even as its NEC failed to hold its meeting earlier scheduled for Wednesday, May 4.
In the APC, the Chairman, Adamu, told State House Correspondents last Friday that the party had yet to reach a zoning arrangement.
This came shortly after his visit to the President at the Villa and three days after it began selling nomination and expression of interest forms for various electoral offices.
Other members of the group at Wednesday’s protests included Okpanachi Jacob (North-Central), Femi Lawson (South-West), Ibrahim Mohammed (North-West) and Uzoh Chukwuemeka (South-East) and hundreds of supporters.