The All Progressives Congress (APC) is reportedly making moves to zone the 2023 presidential ticket to the North.
Speculations are that the ruling party is working towards handing its presidential ticket to an aspirant from the Northeast.
By this doing, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan may likely emerge as the party’s presidential candidate in the 2023 elections, Naija News understands.
Top aspirants in the party’s presidential list included Former Governor of Lagos State and APC national leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, and Senate President, Ahmed Lawan among others.
However, the bid to zone the party’s ticket to the Northeast has heightened
despite many calls for a Southern candidate.
President Muhammadu Buhari, a northerner has ruled the nation for eight years. The choice of another Northern candidate may, however, stir commotion in the current political atmosphere.
Also, with the latest decision of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) to allow ad-hoc delegates to elect presidential candidates at its forthcoming convention, the chances of a northern aspirant emerging as the presidential standard-bearer has brightened even more.
A source in the know reportedly disclosed the new zoning arrangement in the APC to THISDAY on Tuesday evening.
The claims further established a recent report about the National Assembly’s latest amendment to the Electoral Act, 2022.
The amendment, Naija News understands will allow statutory delegates, all those elected to participate and vote in the conventions, congresses or meetings of political parties, was designed to boost the chances of the Senate President in the 2023 presidential race.
It is believed that the aim of the fresh amendment to the Electoral Act which received accelerated passage at both chambers of the National Assembly, was to increase the chances of Lawan in the party’s presidential primaries and subsequently boost the Party’s chances of retaining in the 2023 presidential elections.
However, if President Muhammadu Buhari assents to the Electoral Act 2022 Amendment Bill before him, which will allow statutory delegates to participate in the presidential primaries the dynamics of the contest will change dramatically in favour of Lawan
The current Electoral Act 2022 (as amended) has no role for statutory delegates at the convention.
Statutory or “Super” delegates are elected Councillors, local government chairmen and their vice, party chairmen in the 774 LGAs and six Abuja area councils, state and federal lawmakers, governors and their deputies, president and vice president, NWC members, state party chairmen and secretaries.
The provision in the Principal Act reads: “A political party that adopts the system of indirect primaries for the choice of its candidate shall clearly outline in its constitution and rule the procedure for the democratic election of delegates to vote at the convention, congress or meeting.
“Last week, federal lawmakers amended Section 84 of the Principal Act by deleting subsection (8) and inserting a new subsection (8) as follows: “A political party that adopts the system of indirect primaries for the choice of its candidates shall clearly outline in its constitution and rules the procedure for the democratic election of delegates to vote at the convention, congress or meeting, in addition to statutory delegates already prescribed in the Constitution of the party.
“What the National Assembly is trying to do is to back Lawan with the huge number of statutory delegates of past and present legislators that the amendment would allow attending such conventions and congresses. They are in the region of almost 4,000, who are most likely going to throw their support behind Lawan. So, that is why they are trying to amend the law again to suit their own selfish purposes and calculations,” a source who pleaded anonymity told Thisdaylive.
Meanwhile, there are assertions that APC was considering either zoning the position of the vice president to either the south-west or south-south.
Under the new APC arrangement, it was gathered that the Senate President might be zoned to the south-east if the ruling party gets the majority seat in the Red Chamber and the Speaker of the House of Representative zone by the APC to the North-west. In the same vein, it was gathered that the leadership of the party might have decided to zone its Deputy Senate President to the North Central and the Deputy Speaker to either the South-west or South-south