Members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Plateau State and some states in the North Central zone of the country have called on leaders of the party from the zone vying for the national chairmanship seat to have a rethink as that could cost the zone the 2023 presidency.
The APC members, who met Thursday in Jos the Plateau State capital, said the North Central should not compromise the 2023 Presidency for any other position because it is time the presidency be zoned to the region for the sake of equity and fairness.
A former governor of Nasarawa State, Senator Tanko Al-Makura, is the top contender in the national chairmanship race.
Other top contenders from the North Central region are George Akume (Benue), Senator Sani Mohammed from Niger State and Mallam Saliu Mustapha from Kwara State.
But speaking with newsmen on behalf of the leaders after the meeting, Saleh Mandung Zazzaga, said they are not speaking for the APC as a party, but that as party members/leaders at various levels, they have decided to form a forum and initiate political activities that would benefit the region.
“As APC members/leaders from the North Central region with like minds, we have decided to have a kind of forum where we will be initiating programmes and political activities for the benefit of the region.
“Foremost on our agenda right now however is the issue of the 2023 presidency which we want it to be zoned to the North Central.
“This is because apart from the military era, since the democratic dispensation the region hasn’t actually produced either the president or the Vice President, but has tremendously contributed to the democratic growth in the nation.
“Therefore, it would be fair and equitable enough for the presidency to be zoned to the region.
“But we have seen through a move that could jeopardize the quest, that is the acceptance of a party’s National Chairmanship position by anyone from the region.
The political calculation and understanding is that if a party chairmanship is zoned to a region, the presidency would be zoned to another region.
“That is why we are calling on all our party members from the North Central vying for the party national chairmanship to have a rethink and join hands together to push for the presidency rather than the chairmanship.
“We also hope that our request would be considered by the APC national leadership and zone the presidency to the region,” he said.
He said their next move would be advocacy visits to the national and regional (North Central) leaders of the party as well as leaders/members of other parties with whom they share the same ideology on the 2023 presidency so that they can all have a common struggle for the region.