Okowa argued that though the South-East claim for the presidency is genuine, same could be said of the North-East, which is yet to produce a president too
By Kehinde Okeowo
Vice-presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, has said the north took advantage of the inability of the south to narrow the presidential ticket to the South-East.
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Okowa also described the decision of his opponent and the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to pick a placeholder as running mate to beat the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) deadline as a not too smart move.
The former senator made the assertions on Thursday, June 23, while answering questions on Politics Today, a current affairs programme on Channels Television.
According to the number one citizen of Delta State, APC’s decision to pick a political associate of Tinubu from Katsina State, Kaburi Masari, as a makeshift running mate merely exposes how unprepared and unorganised the ruling party is.
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Okowa also noted that even though the South-East is making a legitimate demand for the presidency, the same could be said of the North-East zone, which is yet to produce a president too.
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The governor, who said he is an Igbo man despite coming from Delta state, urged the South-East to keep pushing for the presidency since it can only be gained democratically.
Okowa said, “When we were talking about the issues of presidency,– it is not just about PANDEF, or South-West’s Afenifere, or the Middle Belt or the Ohanaeze (in the South-East) alone; in their collective voice, if they had insisted that ‘the presidency, we want it this time and it must be from the South-East’…a good request.
“But the real truth is, they were just asking for a southern presidency without trying to situate it where ordinarily it should be,”
Some political commentators have faulted Okowa’s comparison of the South-East and North-East presidential quests, they described it as an attempt to justify his joint ticket with Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, who is from the North East.
According to them, after eight years of President Buhari’s government, it should be the turn of the south and in the interest of the unity of Nigeria, no northern candidate should have shown interest in the contest.