Dokpesi: Only A Northerner Can Win Presidency For PDP In 2023

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Chief Raymond Dokpesi, business mogul and former national chair­manship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Thurs­day said there is no way his party can win the 2023 presidential election if it presents a candidate from the Southern part of the country as its flagbearer.

Speaking exclusively with Daily Independent in Abuja on the contro­versy over the zoning of the presi­dential ticket between the Northern and Southern part of the country, Dokpesi said the PDP must get its act right if it is serious about wresting power from the ruling All Progres­sives Congress (APC) in 2023.

He said PDP members who are canvassing the zoning of the ticket to the South are only doing so because they want to copy the APC whose mem­bers are rooting for a zoning of the ticket to the South after the completion of President Muhammadu Buhari’s ten­ure in 2023.

Dokpesi said the Northern­ers have not had a fair share of the presidency since return of democratic governance of the country in 1999.

He said, “We are all Nige­rians and there is no need for us to keep deceiving ourselves at this point in time. At the age of 70 and with my experience in or­ganising campaigns in this country, I can tell you that unless there is a candidate from the North, in my own considered opinion, the PDP will not stand a chance of winning the election.

“On the ambition of those from the South who are today asking for the presidency to be zoned to the South, I can say that they are only echoing what prevails in the APC. In APC, President Muhammadu Buhari has done eight years, so it is imperative on APC to cede the presidency to the South.

“In the case of PDP, let us look at it honestly. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo from the South-West did eight years; Goodluck Jonathan from the South-South also did six years. That made a total of 14 years.

“On the other hand, Uma­ru Yar’Adua from the North did three years, so there is an imbalance of 11 years. If in 2019, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar had not been rigged out of that election, he would have come back in 2023 to say that he wants to do a second term. And would anybody have stood on his way? No!

“So, for the PDP, the presi­dential candidate must come from the North in 2023. People should exercise patience be­cause it will still come back to the South”

Also speaking on the clam­our for Igbo presidency, Dok­pesi said while he believes that it is fair that the South- East should produce the presi­dent as it is the only Southern zone not to have done so since 1999, the South-East cannot win if it gets the presidential ticket at this time.

” I am a very strong advo­cate that the Igbos should be given an opportunity to be president of the Federal Re­public of Nigeria.

“This is because all the other parts of the South al­ready produced the presi­dent. Even the South-South has not had a full term yet but the truth of the matter is that the South-East has not done at all.

“So, they should have opportunity to have a shot at it. In that light, I believe justice, fairness and equity should get it but the reality of that is that the South- East cannot win the nation­al elections at this point in time.

“So, we must go for it, ob­tain it and support whoever is likely to understand the challenges of the South as well as the North, who will unite the country first and foremost; a candidate who will make the sacrifices and understand the people of Nigeria as a whole.

“We need a candidate who has all the criteria that need to be fulfilled to be able to govern effective­ly. Once we get that person, then the whole of Nigeria should rally round such a person in order to correct this morass we have been thrown into”.

Also speaking on the leadership crisis rocking the PDP, Dokpesi said the governors and elders of the party deserve commenda­tion for the courageous and just manner in which the matter was handled.

“As regards what the PDP did two days ago on the resolution of the internal crisis that came up, I think that was very courageous and visionary. I commend the governors, elders and stakeholders of the PDP for being very clear and just in resolving the issue.

“There was no victor, no vanquished. All the emphasis was on the fact that this party must put its house in order and prepare itself to be able to win 2023 elections and everybody must shelve his personal ambition and put in efforts to ensure that the hopes of Nigerians in the PDP is not dashed.

“We must unite and make sure that the neces­sary changes that are re­quired are achieved”, he said.

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