Atiku Abubakar
The Senate Chief Whip, Orji Kalu, says the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) has made it necessary for the All Progressives Congress (APC) to choose its candidate from the north if the party must retain power in 2023.
Mr Kalu, in a statement he issued shortly after Mr Abubakar was declared winner of Saturday’s PDP primary, specifically said the APC should pick its candidate from the North-east because Mr Abubakar is from the region.
Mr Kalu, a former governor of Abia State, narrowed the choice to Senate President Ahmad Lawan, who is from Yobe State in the North-east.
Mr Lawan is one of the APC presidential aspirants.
The current Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, the former governor of Lagos, Bola Tinubu, and the former minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, are some of the leading presidential aspirants in the APC.
“Congratulations to the PDP for electing a North Easterner,” Mr Kalu said in the statement posted on Facebook.
“Nigerians must have seen what I saw yesterday. For our party the APC, it is no longer feasible to talk about Southern candidates except the APC wants to go on political retirement,” he said.
Senator Kalu urged the APC national leadership and President Muhammadu Buhari to force the APC to pick its presidential candidate from the North-east.
“I urge the National Chairman of the party and the entire NWC to stamp their feet and zone APC presidential ticket to the North East.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has a right to choose his successor, and I call on him to pick Senator Ahmad Lawan as his successor.”
The senator further explained why Mr Buhari should “force” the APC to pick its candidate from the North-east.
“In every democratic setting, presidents and governors support and pick their successors,” he said. “I call on President Buhari to pick a successor from the North East and that will be the equity the South-East needs.
“With the North East, the cycle will be closest to completion of regions producing the president of Nigeria,” he said.
He called on other APC presidential aspirants to drop their ambition and support Mr Lawan.
Mr Kalu was himself a presidential aspirant in the APC. He later dropped out of the race and declared his support for Mr Lawan.
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Cletus Ukpong is PREMIUM TIMES’ assistant editor in charge of Nigeria’s South-South region. He is a graduate of Mass Communication, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Twitter: @CletusUkpong

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