Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential candidate, and Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, the PDP nominee for vice president, have been urged to resign by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, the Deputy Senate President and Delta APC candidate for governor.
The PDP presidential candidate, according to Senator Omo-Agege, has demonstrated that he lacks the authority to preach equality, fairness, justice, and integrity by contesting the election when a northerner is about to complete his eight years in government.
Omo-Agege, who is also the Delta State Coordinator for the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, claimed that Governor Okowa had broken the trust placed in him by his colleagues and the whole South by running for vice president of the PDP.
I encouraged my PDP colleagues to convince their presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to resign and rotate the presidential ticket to the South during the week’s Second Reading and Debate on General Principles on a measure attempting to legalize power rotation between Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones.
“That would have the knock-on effect of forcing Atiku’s running mate and Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, to resign and handing the vice presidential ticket to the North.
“As I said during my presentation on the Senate floor, if PDP senators were sincere, they would have first begged their presidential candidate to withdraw from the race for office so that he or she could return to Southern Nigeria. It is only right that authority returns to the South because by May of next year, the North would have been in power for eight years, divided into two periods.
The Delta Central lawmaker pointed out that notable organizations like the Southern Governors Forum, their northern counterparts, social and cultural groups like Afenifere, the Middle Belt Forum, the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), and Ohaneze Ndigbo have all emphasized the necessity of a Southern Presidency.
He recounted his July encounter with Chief Edwin Clark, an elder statesman and former Federal Commissioner for Information, when the Niger Delta leader criticized the PDP for failing to zone its presidential ticket to the South.
Despite their political differences, the 17 governors of the South met in Asaba, the capital of Delta State, on May 11, 2021, and made important decisions, including that the presidency should rotate to the South at the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s statutory eight-year term, in accordance with the principles of fairness, equity, and justice.
“Governor Okowa hosted the important gathering. The Southern Governors subsequently gathered in Lagos on July 5 to reiterate their choice, and again in Enugu on September 16 to renew their call for the South to take the Presidency in 2023.
Nigerians can conclude that the party’s campaign messages should be taken with a grain of salt after the PDP abandoned zoning and gave Atiku its nomination. They claim that once trust is shattered, it cannot be repaired or restored, much like an antique. The PDP presidential candidate and his vice presidential running mate have betrayed Nigerians’ confidence. The pair resigning honorably and making amends is the correct thing to do.
Therefore, it didn’t surprise us when five PDP governors skipped the PDP Presidential Campaign Council’s inauguration in Abuja to express their displeasure over the injustice done to the Southern States of Nigeria.