The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has warned the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that its plan to wait for the All Progressives Congress (APC) to zone its presidential ticket to the South so that the opposition party would go North would backfire.
The former Anambra State governor, therefore, advised the PDP to better align with the APC to go South if that is where the ruling party is going to.
His words: “They are waiting for APC, they are playing games. It is going to be a costly venture for them because during election, it is like a draft game. You anticipate the opponent to see the seed he wants to play next. That seed of PDP of going North will backfire. They better align with APC and if APC comes South, let them also come South. So, it becomes an all-South affair. But if they go North, I can tell them that as it is today, they will lose the presidential election, no matter the candidate they bring from the North. The Southeasterners will feel that they have been used and dumped. The Southeast, South-south will feel that they have been used and dumped. The Southwest too will feel it is the turn of South as the Southern governors agreed and in the North-central, the minority sympathy in the Middle Belt will come in.”
Ngige stated this while fielding questions from journalists at his country home in Alor, Idemili South LGA of Anambra State, on the eve of the New Year.
“So, we expect that our national chairman this time around will come from the North and our presidential candidate will come from the South and it is left for the Southerners to decide the zone it will go among Southeast, South-south and Southwest, but for equity and moral ground, the Southeast should be as it is the only one yet to produce the president since 1999,” he said
He said that his strong support for the emergence of a president of Southern extraction was in line with the rotation and zoning convention guiding the composition of government at various levels in the country.
Ngige who is a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) argued that zoning and rotation of power create stability, unity, equity and progress of the country.
According to him, rotation engenders confidence and patriotism and ensures that no one ethnic group or section of the country, dominates the other.
He described those saying no such convention exists as not saying the truth.
He particularly berated the opposition PDP for hibernating and waiting for APC to choose a Southern presidential candidate so they can pick theirs from the North in clear breach of the rotation convention and even against the rotation principle enshrined in the PDP constitution.