Protesters on Wednesday stormed the Abuja national secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress demanding that the parties zone its 2023 presidential tickets to the southern part of the country.
The protesters, who were mainly youth, deplored the failure of the PDP leadership to take a firm decision on zoning of the ticket.
The placard carrying crowd barricaded the main entrance of the secretariat, accusing the PDP of plots to deny the South the opportunity to produce the President in 2023.
Inscribed on their placards were messages like “It is the turn of Southern Nigeria to produce the President”; “Stop frustrating Southern Presidency”.
They called on the PDP to take a divisive decision on zoning, to save the country from disintegration.
Coming under the aegis of Concerned Nigeria Citizens”, the leader of the protesters, Femi Osabinu, raised concerns that a few days to the presidential primaries, the PDP had yet to announce its decision on zoning.
According to Osabinu, power rotation goes beyond mere aspiration of political parties, stressing that it’s also a tool towards ensuring national unity and stability.
At the APC secretariat, Osabinu who presented a formal letter to the leadership of the party, said southern Nigeria must be allowed to occupy the position of President in the country come 2023.
He said: “In this regard, candidates from southern Nigeria, must be allowed to occupy the position of President in the country come 2023”.
The protesters said power rotation between the North and the South is an enduring convention in Nigerian politics.
“Any consideration outside of this is foul and may destabilise the polity,” Osabinu said.
Continuing, he said: “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, back into our polity.”
“It is the turn of the Southern part of the country to produce the next President and we believe that your party should have no difficulty in coming out with a categorical declaration on this very important issue in the next few days.
“This must be done without delay. The principle of federal character is enshrined in the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
“Remember that there won’t be a PDP if there is no country called Nigeria. Let us put Nigeria first in our resolutions.”
Responding on behalf of APC, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Barr. Felix Morka who stood in for the National Chairman said the party has not taken a decision on zoning and promised that the party would ensure fairness to all Nigerians.