A businessman and former national chairmanship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Raymond Dokpesi, on Thursday, said his party can only win the 2023 presidential election if it presents a candidate from the North.
He, however, added that for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), it is fair to pick its presidential candidate from the South.
Speaking with Daily Independent in Abuja on the controversy over the zoning of the presidential ticket between the Northern and Southern parts of the country, Dokpesi said the PDP must get it right to return to power in 2023.
He said for the sake of fairness, the APC can have its candidate from the South in the next presidential election, when President Muhammadu Buhari, a northerner would have spent eight years in office.
According to him, the situation with the PDP is not the same.
He said, “We are all Nigerians and there is no need for us to keep deceiving ourselves at this point in time. At the age of 70 and with my experience in organising campaigns in this country, I can tell you that unless there is a candidate from the North, in my own considered opinion, the PDP will not stand a chance of winning the election.
“On the ambition of those from the South who are today asking for the presidency to be zoned to the South, I can say that they are only echoing what prevails in the APC. In APC, President Muhammadu Buhari has done eight years, so it is imperative on APC to cede the presidency to the South.
“In the case of PDP, let us look at it honestly. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo from the South-West did eight years; Goodluck Jonathan from the South-South also did six years. That made a total of 14 years.
“On the other hand, Umaru Yar’Adua from the North did three years, so there is an imbalance of 11 years. If in 2019, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar had not been rigged out of that election, he would have come back in 2023 to say that he wants to do a second term. And would anybody have stood on his way? No!
“So, for the PDP, the presidential candidate must come from the North in 2023. People should exercise patience because it will still come back to the South.”
Also speaking on the clamour for Igbo presidency, Dokpesi said while he believes that it is fair that the South-East should produce the president as it is the only Southern zone not to have done so since 1999, the South-East cannot win if it gets the presidential ticket at this time.