Former Commissioner for Information, Edo State, Prince Kassim Afegbua, has advised the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to follow the mood in the country by producing a young Southerner as its presidential candidate in 2023.
Afegbua, a member of PDP, gave the advice in a statement he issued on Sunday in Abuja.
He said that having concluded the convention of the PDP with a new leadership that looks promising, the party needed to rise above board to produce a presidential candidate from the South to complete the narrative.
Afegbua said that it would defeat all sense of logic for PDP to do otherwise at a time the general feeling and mood in the country supports a young Nigerian from the Southern extraction of the country.
Afegbua also advised former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, to quit his quest for the presidency and support a southern Nigerian candidate in the spirit of fairness, equity and justice, that will assuage the feelings of stakeholders from the Southern part of Nigeria.
He added that given PDP’s doctrine of political power balancing and fairness, the party would also be against its own unwritten rule to cede the ticket to a Northern candidate.
“The Southern geopolitical zones of Nigeria have eminently qualified Nigerians and parade great minds who are competent and ready to take a shot at the number one job.
“Those who are advancing very nebulous theory of seeing the northern population as a stimulant to win the sympathy of the North against the South are either ignorant of the real demographics or at best, just playing the ostrich.
“No one in the North should take away what belongs to the South. That will be hurting the consciences and feelings of the average southerner.”
Afegbua recalled that earlier 2022, he was conscripted into the Technical Committee for Abubakar presidency, but after attending three meetings of the group, he found his spirit and conscience in conflict with the ethos of justice, fairness and equity, which the south deserves.
“A Nigerian of southern extraction deserves to be given unfettered opportunity to represent the party in the 2023 presidential contest.
“Abubakar and his northern aspirants should support the aspiration of an upwardly mobile and younger elements from the South to fly the PDP flag.
“Anything short of such will be tantamount to standing logic on its head, and a deliberate attempt to undermine the collective interest and aspirations of the Southern aspirants.
“I will therefore implore the new management and members of the National Executive Committee of the PDP as well as the National Working Committee to speak with one voice in ensuring that the South is given what is due to it.
“Doing that, will mean promoting the fundamental principles of democracy of all inclusiveness and participation.
“Let it be known that I will not hesitate to commence the process of mobilizing, sensitizing and conscientizing like minds and team up with other stakeholders to drum up the necessary support that will birth a Southern candidate for the party.
“Justice should not only be served, it must be seen to have been served,” he said.
Afegbua said that Nigerians in their millions are tired of seeing the faces of persons who have dominated the political space in the last 40 years and yet, unwilling to take a bow. (NAN)