A presidential aspirant under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Anyim Pius Anyim on Monday warned that if the party does not zone its presidency to the south, it would lose the 2023 election.
He equally said the party must respect zoning, saying the only winning formula he knows is “fairness, justice and equity”.
Anyim disclosed this while addressing Plateau State delegates of the party, at the PDP Secretariat in Jos, the State Capital.
He said, “If we want to win the 2023 Presidential election, we should respect zoning. Because the only winning formula that I have known is fairness, justice and equity; and anytime you don’t do justice, truth is not with you; and you won’t have your way.
He recalled that in 2015, refusal to adhere to zoning was behind PDP’s defeat at the Presidential polls.
“In 2015, when the PDP reviewed why we lost the election, one thing that came out clear in that report was that we did not respect zoning.
“And you and I know that as at that time, it was felt so strongly that it was the turn of the north, and even a constitutional provision could not help it.
According to him, “No matter what the constitution provided and gave the then-sitting president right, nobody could tolerate it.
“Again, we are at that point, if we don’t zone, we will lose this election”, he warned.
The former Senate President, however, said, “As I seek your support, I’m actually seeking to protect our collective future; I’m seeking to guarantee the peace and progress of this country, and we shall do it together.
Anyim who was the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation during the Goodluck Jonathan administration, also said when the military expunged zoning from the draft of the 1999 constitution, the PDP enshrined it into its constitution, “In section 733 (3c) that power should rotate between north and south.
“If it doesn’t rotate like that, it might not come to the South-East, and be sure it won’t come to North-Central”, he explained.
“This rotation is imperative, and I have said it clearly, there is no zone in this country where you won’t get capable hands to govern this nation”, he maintained.
Anyim further said, “Buhari ran for election three times with the support of the north, he did not win; until the south supported him.
“Nobody, no group, no section can do it alone”, he stressed.
“For a multi-ethnic country like ours, if people are talking of zoning, they are not saying anything new, that is usually the call that holds a democratic country together; because at any point in time when everybody is not at the table, you are asking for trouble.
He said, in a country like Lebanon, zone positions even ministerial positions, and it is enshrined in their constitution, “and that is why they can stay together”.