2023: Osoba confirms gentleman’s agreeement for Southerner to succeed Buhari
A founding member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Olusegun Osoba, says there exists a gentleman’s agreement that the party would field a Southern presidential candidate at the expiration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure.
He stated this during a Tuesday appearance on an Arise TV programme, Good Morning Show.
The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and a faction of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) merged to former APC.
Osoba, who is a former Governor of Ogun State, said that the agreement was reached in the course of the merger in 2013.
He revealed that although the word “zoning” was not used in order not to clash with the 1999 Constitution, it was agreed that the north would produce the presidential candidate in 2015 while the south would produce the party chairman.
“My honest opinion is this, I was the chairman of the constitutional drafting committee of the APC merger. We of ACN, we were the dominant group from the South and the Southwest is the home and the root of progressive politicking.
“Part of the understanding in the case of rotation is a conventional understanding that the presidency will move between the North and the South. That was the reason why we now allowed the chairman (of the party), I dont want to use the world zoning, because we definitely did not put zoning, we know it may go in conflict with the Nigerian constitution which says anyone who is a Nigerian, who has read up to school certificate can contest and at the age of 35 I think can contest for the presidency of the country.
“But there was 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,” Osoba said.
Osoba added, “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.”