By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
Former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso, has argued against the call for zoning the 2023 presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the Southern part of the country.
Kwankwaso made his position known in an interview with Channels Television, on Sunday.
In his argument, the former governor condemned the insistence of the Southern Governors Forum that the next president of the country must come from their region, rather than what is best.
He considered the call by the governors and other leaders as an attempt to intimidate the North into relinquishing its right to contest the seat.
Kwankwaso said the decision to contest should be based on strategy rather than mere clamour or sentiments.
Making reference to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, Kwankwaso, who is eyeing the 2023 presidential ticket of the PDP, said the party had produced more Southern Presidents than Northern Presidents.
“You see many people are mixing what ordinarily shouldn’t come together at all. We have PDP, we have APC, we have APGA and we have many other parties today in this country. And the issue of where a party put his presidency or vice presidency is a matter of strategy.
“If you look at it from 1999, to date, or even after 2023, we have 16 years for PDP, eight years for APC. Now, in the 16 years of PDP, we had a situation where the presidency has been in the Aouth for 14 years and only in the North for two years during the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua of blessed memory.
“Now we see some people, maybe because they don’t understand politics or they want to be mischievous, they keep on mixing the two issues of two political parties together. This PDP and APC are contestants in this game,” he said.
Speaking on speculations about his possible defection from PDP to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Kwankwaso debunked the rumour and reiterated his commitment to ensure victory for his party in the 2023 polls.
He traced the genesis of the speculation to leave the PDP to the treatment meted out on him and his supporters during the party’s congress in Kaduna last year.
“As we speak, there is no plan for me to leave the PDP, to join APC, or any other party.
“Of course, there were issues which are very clear to almost everybody; that we had congress in April last year in Kaduna, which I felt and many of my supporters in the North West and even beyond felt that I was not being treated well and Kano was not being treated the way it should be.
“And therefore, I believe that was the beginning of those issues to the extent that people thought because of that, we would leave the PDP for APC or any other party,” he said.
Kwankwaso, however, noted that leaders of the party have initiated reconciliatory efforts.