Something is boiling within the ruling party as 2023 beckons.
The All Progressives Congress (APC), is on the verge of imploding ahead of the 2023 presidential election as arguments about over-rotation of the presidency continue to rage.
The Minister of Works, Babatunde Raji Fashola had recently raised the ante earlier in the week following his disclosure that there was indeed an unwritten agreement among leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2015 to rotate the presidency between North and South.
It, however, appears that APC is now divided between those who are for zoning and those for competency. But, it was Fashola’s claim of the existence of an “unwritten agreement” within the ruling party, that is the subject of confusion among party stalwarts who would like the Minister to explain the quarters where it (the agreement) was done and the parties to the unwritten agreement.
When reached out for comments on Fashola’s claim by Saturday Sun, Prince Tony Momoh, said there were lots of agreements made, but desists from disclosing any, saying it is strictly a party affair. He, however, gave hints to what might have likely resulted in confusion and disagreement among party members as it relates to the likelihood of a Muslim-Muslim ticket by the APC in the next election.
He said, “Have you asked Bisi Akande? Do you want me to say in the public all that happened in the party from the time of consultations, agreements reached, conventions, primaries, etc? Do you in The Sun go to the market place to announce all that happened during your editorial meetings? It is not fair.
“There were lots of agreements reached as a party. If you are talking of an agreement to rotate or not to rotate; if you want to know agreements that were written, go and look at the manifesto and the constitution, they are documented. If you want to know what happened behind the scene, you can investigate. The structure of Nigeria is a presidential system, and not a parliamentary. In a presidential system, there are certain things you cannot do. You cannot pick the governor and his deputy from the same local government; you cannot pick the president and the vice president from the same local government, the same state, and the same zone.
“It is zoned North and South and that is why you see now that what has emerged is that both Christians and Muslims have a voice. Once upon a time, Muslim- Muslim ticket could fly, but now you will find it difficult to find a Muslim-Muslim ticket because of divergencies, differences of vested interests. In a parliamentary system, there is no need for zoning, but in a presidential system, you will zone and if you don’t zone, it is to your own detriment.
“Gone are the days for instance in a presidential system, you have an Awolowo and an Umeadi, both from the South. The risk they were taking was that they couldn’t have votes from the North. Now, it is impossible for someone to have a running mate from the same zone because we have North and South. It is a big risk for someone to fly a Muslim-Muslim ticket or a Christian-Christian ticket because religion has come into play.
“Whatever agreement reached at that time can be enforced in the house now and the enforcement can succeed or fail. For you to be asking me such a thing is like asking you what you discussed at your editorial conference. It’s an unfair question.
“I know zoning was discussed. I was even the chairman of the committee at the caucus meeting to discuss coming together of which groups. So, that being the case, I won’t be telling you that this is what we discussed and this is the agreement we reached. It is an unfair question because I won’t give you the answer you want. Everything is there for discussion,” Momoh said.