The Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), Osita Okechukwu has predicted an outright victory for the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in the 2023 elections.
According to Okechukwu who is a founding member and chieftain of the APC, some other presidential candidates of other parties have run foul of what Nigerians expect and would therefore not get the votes of the people.
The VON boss who spoke at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja said the emergence of Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Musa Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) negate the principles of rotation as the south is expected to take over from President Muhammadu Buhari.
He added that he has an assurance of Tinubu’s victory because the APC as the ruling party has 22 sitting Governors, the majority of the National Assembly and all these people and other political appointees won’t betray the party’s candidate for the 2023 presidential election.
In his words, “Asiwaju has 60 percent of winning this election. We are in charge of 22 states of the federation. We have the majority in the National and State Houses of Assembly – they are not going to betray him.
“Even in the South-East, that has never been our (APC) stronghold, on the day of the election, we are going there to protect our mandate.”
Okechukwu added that people like him must also ensure the APC returns to power for them to be able to keep their jobs, hence his confidence that Tinubu will win as they will out mobilize for him.
“Whatever is my preference, if I want my office to remain it means I must support Asiwaju, it’s applicable to those who are board members whether you are coming from Yenogoa or Dutse so that is the power of incumbency,” he added.
He argued that PDP and NNPP should have followed the principle of rotation in choosing their presidential candidates while for the Labour Party, Peter Obi is not strong enough to get the victory for his party.
According to the VON DG, nobody can win the presidential election in Nigeria without the northern support and no northerner can win without a southern stronghold. In his view, only Tinubu of the APC can boast of having the two going into the 2023 elections.
“They don’t believe in rotation convention. For them, the agitation or the glue and the bound that rotation created since independence. When Tafawa-Balewa as Prime Minister, the president or governor-general was Nnamdi Azikiwe from the South. When Gowon became Head of State, Obafemi Awolowo was his deputy, the same thing with Murtala and Obasanjo. Obasanjo/Shehu Yar-Adua; Shagari/Ekwueme down the line.
“It’s not as if rotation is a new thing. So, for the PDP because of Atiku’s muscle, they jettison the rotation of the presidency which was an injury to himself. Some of us in the south will forbid him because he touched on the ligament that is holding the country.
“That is why we thank the northern governors because they recognised the import of that ligament. You may not take it seriously but if you know the sense of belonging it brings to the north and south you can’t just dismiss it.
“So APC obeyed it. Kwankwaso I know they were afraid of us. I don’t want to name names. This rotation may not have its legal teeth but rotation is a convention. It has its moral angle. That’s why the UK does not have a written constitution they live on conventions. Atiku will not know what he did to himself until the day the votes come.
So is also the way Kwankwaso is playing with us. The areas he will capture in the north, I know he is not going to give up and since he doesn’t obey the convention, he will not nominate somebody to go with Peter and if Peter does not go strong north, we will be in CPC and ANPP in 2003 we had 12 million votes we didn’t win the south.
Nobody can win in Nigeria if you can’t have northern support. No northerner can win without a southern stronghold. Atiku has lost in the southern stronghold. That’s why I’m giving Tinubu about 60% chances,” Okechukwu argued.