Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Adamawa State, Ahmed Lawan, has publicly declared his support for the zoning of his party’s presidential ticket to the South West for the 2023 elections.
Lawan told journalists in Yola, the Adamawa capital, that there was a conspiracy by some people within the ruling party to retain power in the North. He claimed that the conspiracy could potentially cost him his leadership spot in the party.
“The President and indeed our party must beware of divisive elements who are now proponents of retaining power in the North beyond 2023. I have said it before and I believe that 2023 presidential ticket of the APC must go to the South West… Since I made this comment last time, some members of my party have been hatching a plot to suspend me from the party, but I am not moved and I will still hold my ground that power must go to the West.”
Mr. Lawan reserved some high praise for President Buhari following his announcement of June 12 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day.
“June 12 Democracy Day is a milestone in Nigeria’s history and anyone who embraces democracy in Nigeria should be proud of what Buhari has done and it takes so much courage to do. So many Nigerian leaders have shied away from talking or acting about it because of the controversy arising from the date and fear of being scandalised but this is what Nigerians want, respect, rule of law and honour for those who fought and bled for democracy and that is what Nigerians should remember as significant for this date… And Buhari must be praised for this day.”
Bottomline: During the 2019 electioneering campaign, the various high-level representatives of the Buhari Presidency took turns to promise both the South East and South West politicians that their zones will be given the presidential ticket in exchange for their support for the Presidency. Since his re-election, the tunes have started to change. Notably, one of Buhari’s cabinet members (Communications Technology Minister Adebayo Shittu – who is from the S’West) publicly stated his support for power retention by the North.
It is clear that the 2023 political games are already on — but given the unpredictable nature of politics, it is safe to say that it is still a long time away. What Lawan and his fellow power jostlers in the APC should do now is focus on making sure their party delivers on its promise to citizens.