Following its inability to upturn the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 23 presidential election at the Supreme Court, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has vowed to do everything possible to win the 2023 Presidency.
This is even as the party said it will go the distance to ensure that events which culminated in its loss in 2019 are not allowed to happen again. PDP's statement of intent is coming against the backdrop of an unsolicited advice by a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Jackson Ojo, who recently called on the major opposition party to retain its presidential ticket in the North in the next general election.
"I'm no longer in the PDP but I will advise them to retain the presidential ticket in the North. A northerner will succeed President Buhari because the South does not have what it takes to produce a President in 2023, Ojo said in an interview with this correspondent recently.
A highly-placed member of the party's National Executive Committee who confided in the Vanguard stressed the significance of keeping faith with the North, saying " some broad-based consultations and meetings would hold to impress it on our members on why we would take this decision. He continued:
"People who are not politically sensitive will tell you that it is too early to be discussing 2023. But even the ruling APC is not resting. They are already working on life post Buhari Presidency. "The reasons we will not discuss zoning is that the choice of the North would be strategic. The PDP unlike the APC has a lot to do to turn the fortunes of this country around and a result, we must subordinate individual and group interest for the collective. This is all I can say for now.
In a separate chat with the journalists , deputy national publicity secretary of the PDP, Diran Odeyemi said the party is determine to bounce back, adding that the PDP did not lose in 2019.
"Nigerians are aware of the shame that played out in the 2019 elections. We did not lose but I don't want to dwell in the past because the apex court in the land has adjudicated on the matter. " For now, we will keep our strategy close to our chest but permit me to say this: Zoning, for now, is not giving the PDP headache.
Whichever zone we agree on, I can assure Nigerians that we will come up with the best candidate that will put an end to the eight years misrule of the APC.
"Regardless of the zone, Nigerians should expect from PDP in 2023 the best material, in terms of capacity, knowledge, preparedness, exposure, experience and courage; a man who will quickly make a difference in the life of Nigerians, he said.
Exuding confidence in the ability of his party to return to power at the centre, Odeyemi said Nigerians would in 2023 realize that the APC came to learn the rudiments of governance but ended up as poor students of politics and constitutional democracy. These, he added, would make them go all out for a party that "has done it before and is ready to do it again. He continued:
"In the next three years, Nigerians will file out again to partake in a referendum on constitutionalism, hunger, rule of law and democracy.
We are praying that in the next three years, they will repent of their wickedness and crass incompetence for the country to survive.
"Today, the so-called integrity is nowhere to be found. They are presiding over corruption and Nigerians are dying of hunger by the day. This party cannot simply continue because by 2023, Nigerians know the step to take to rectify all the wrongs since APC's assumption of office in 2015.
Should the party resolve to have a Presidential candidate of Northern extraction in 2023, the National Working Committee, NWC, may be faced with the difficult task of convincing the South to let go of its ambition in the interest of the party.