Alhaji Abubakar Baraje, a former National Chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), has said the North Central wants the presidency in 2023.
Baraje is an ally of former Senate President Bukola Saraki, who is believed to be interested in the 2023 presidential race.
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Both Baraje and Saraki are from Kwara, which is in the North Central.
In a statement, Baraje said although the PDP has zoned chairmanship to the north, that will not stop North Central from joining the presidential race.
But he advised the PDP to sustain its tradition of justice, equity, and fairness by ensuring that the zone which has not produced a substantive national chairman in the North is allowed to present a solid candidate capable of leading the party to victory in the next election.
“From the late chief Solomon Lar, Chief Audu Ogbeh, Dr. Ahmadu Alli, Chief Barnabas Gemade, and myself, all of us from North Central have led the party at different times. Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and Alhaji Adamu Muazu from north-east have emerged as national chairman while Dr. Haliru Bello spent only one year as acting chairman with Sen. Ahmed Makarfi who served as caretaker chairman.”
“With this history, in the spirit of fairness and equity, the North West is most suitable to produce the next chairman.”
“We have noted that some leaders outside the north-central zone are scheming and exerting a lot of energy to push the national chairmanship position to the North Central zone to ensure that the post is not in their zone.
“If the chairman eventually comes from the North Central zone, it is just an extra for us. Presidential aspirants from the zones will still vie for the post.
“Let it be noted that it is our position in the North Central zone that we stand by the earlier announcement by the party leadership that the presidential ticket will be free for all qualified aspirants to seek. We believe the party should respect its publicly declared position.
“It is not in the interest of the party for leaders to impose their will on the people.”