Despite the popular clamour for the presidency to shift to the southern part of the country, there are strong indications that the two other zones in the north may as well pick their presidential candidates.
The 17 southern governors had called for the presidency to shift to the South in 2023.
Some progressive northern governors such as Prof. Babagana Zulum of Borno State, Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Bello Masari of Katsina State, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, and a host of others had thrown their weights behind the clamour for power shift to the South.
However, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also yesterday adopted former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki as its presidential candidate.
Six other states in the North-central had earlier adopted Saraki as their preferred candidate.
The Governor of Benue State, Ortom had variously said that the PDP would choose its presidential candidate for the 2023 general election by consensus like it did in the election of its National Working Committee (NWC) members during its National Convention.
PDP leaders and stakeholders in Gombe State had last week adopted former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as their preferred candidate for the zone during the North-east business community summit.
Earlier on as part of his consultations, Atiku was in Bauchi State where he commissioned some projects executed by the state government and thereafter, continued his consultations on his presidential aspirations
For Saraki, chieftains and stakeholders of the PDP in the North-central zone have resolved to support him as their consensus aspirant for the 2023 presidential election.
Leader of the Movement for North-central Presidency, Prof. Yorwuese Hagher, gave the hint while speaking to journalists in Lafia, Nasarawa State capital.
Hagher, a former Nigeria’s Ambassador to Canada who described North-central zone as the bleeding wound on the conscience of Nigeria, said it was time for the zone to lead the country.
According to Hagher, the zone has been a cord which holds the country together in difficult times since independence, and has been supporting other zones to produce presidents.
“Out of the country’s six geo-political zones, three have produced presidents – the Northwest, the Southwest and the South-South, the North-Central, the North-east and the South-east are yet to produce presidents.
For the governor of Sokoto State, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, his aspiration has received a boost in the North-west.
THISDAY gathered that the party may go for a consensus presidential candidate as it did in the election of Ayu as the national chairman but where there is no consensus among the aspirants, they may go for elective convention.
So far, former Senate President, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim and Sam Ohuabunwa have officially indicated interest to contest for the presidential ticket of the PDP from the South-east.
Meanwhile, like other states in the North-central zone, the FCT PDP yesterday adopted Saraki as its presidential candidate
The FCT Chapter of the PDP also adopted a motion that the North-central geopolitical zone should produce the next president of Nigeria.
With yesterday’s adoption of Saraki as the consensus presidential candidate, it means that all the six states in the North-central, and the FCT have adopted the former senate president as their presidential candidate.
The motion for the adoption of Saraki was moved by Alhaji Ogah Dona with the chairman of the FCT Chairman of the PDP, Sunday Zakka seconding the motion.
When it was put to vote, the decision to adopt Saraki was unanimously carried.
At the event were: PDP stalwarts, including FCT chairman of the party, Sunday Zakka; Senator Sulaiman Adokwe; Dr. Musa Ahmadu, among others.
Chuks Okocha in Abuja