By Seun Adeuyi
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) will by June next year, decide which part of the country will produce its presidential candidate for 2023.
Daily Trust quoted sources in the party as disclosing this on Tuesday.
According to one of the sources, if the North gets the slot of the national chairman of the party during the national convention of the party, the South will produce the presidential candidate and vice versa.
The lifespan of the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led 13-member APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) was extended by six months, at an emergency virtual National Executive Committee (NEC), yesterday. The timeline given the caretaker committee will expire on December 25, but the NEC extended it for another six months period that would terminate on June 30, 2021.
Among other issues, the reason given by the party was for the committee to complete membership revalidation and registration of new members.
But DailyTrust quoted ‘competent’ sources as saying the window will most importantly afford the party opportunity to resolve contentious issues zoning inclusive.
A source said, “This is partly why President Muhammadu Buhari in his remarks at the NEC meeting harped on healing wounds, mending fences and respecting the free-merger agreement reached by those behind the formation of the APC.”
The source said the issue of which part of the country should produce the APC’s flag bearer was threatening the existence of the party as the second tenure of Buhari eats deep into the second year.
“While there are sources that believe APC leaders from the North can use the numerical strength of the region to hold on to power, those in the South feel it would amount to a betrayal of trust if the North did not reciprocate what was done to them in 2015.
“The extension of time for the Buni-led committee is honestly beyond membership registration…The major issue is the sharing formula without causing an unnecessary distraction.
“And even if the North agrees to hands-off, we have to agree on which part of the South should have the presidential candidate.
“There are those who believe it should go to the South West.
“There are those who believe it should go to the South East, and some people are saying the South-South should be given a chance, but it all depends on the disposition of the Villa,” the national daily quoted the source to have said.