Olusegun Osoba, former governor of Ogun state, says during the merger of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2013, an agreement was reached that the presidential candidate of the party for the 2023 general election will come from the south.
In the build-up to the 2015 general election, three political parties merged to form the APC.
The three political parties were the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP).
Speaking on Tuesday when he featured on an ARISE Television’s programme, Osoba, a founding member of the APC, said the agreement was that the north will produce the president in 2015 while the chairman of the party will come from the south.
He said the agreement stated that after President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure, the next president will come from the south.
He said for the 2023 election, the south-south, south-east and south-west regions can put up candidates for the party’s primary and anyone who wins the election will be the presidential candidate of the APC.
“We had a clear gentlemanly understanding that the northern part of the country will produce the president when we did the merger in 2013. And the chairman of the party will then come from the south,” he said.
“We have had a president for six and a half years now from the north in APC. The president will be there for eight years until 2023. The chairmanship has moved from chief Bisi Akande in south-west to John Oyegun from south-south and then from John Oyegun to Adams Oshiomhole, also from south-south.
“Of course, at the end of the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari, the gentlemanly arrangement is that the presidency will come to the south and I talk of the south in terms of the two territories that were forced to amalgamate in 1914 which means the south-south, the south-east and the south-west zones which are also not in the constitution can bid and should be allowed to produce the next president for this country.
“Therefore, those from the south-east, south-south and south-west can put up candidates for the party’s primary and whoever emerges from the primary can then be the candidate of our party. That is the gentlemanly understanding that we reached when we were doing the merger arrangement.”
Osoba defected from the APC to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) after falling out with Ibikunle Amosun, a former governor of Ogun, before the 2015 general election.
But he returned to the ruling party after APC chieftains in the south-west had a reconciliatory meeting with him in 2016.
His comment on power shift comes two days after Ibrahim Shekarau, senator representing Kano central, said zoning is not in the constitution of the APC.