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‘APC Must Honour North-South Power Shift Deal’

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A national chairmanship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mohammed Bello Mustapha, yesterday urged the party to honour a gentleman’s agreement for power shift to the South in 2023.

The former Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) governorship candidate in Taraba State said it was agreed at the founding of the APC that power would rotate between the North and the South.

He noted that it is the South’s turn to produce the President in 2023 after the two-term tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Addressing reporters in Lagos on his national chairmanship aspiration of the ruling party, Mustapha, a lawyer, said equity and justice demand that power must shift.

“There was an understanding, which all of us are very much aware of when our party came on board in 2013/2014, that power should rotate between the North and the South. By power, I mean the Presidency and the leadership of the party.

“So many of our elders and leaders made so many sacrifices to bring this party on board. People like us will never forget such sacrifices and we believe that the understanding that was entered into must be strictly adhered to.

“The Presidency should return to the South, and the national chairmanship of the party should go to the North,” he said.

Mustapha, who was the pioneer National Youth Leader of The Buhari Organisation (TBO) and a member of the APC Presidential Campaign Council in 2019, urged political parties to give younger Nigerians a chance to lead them.

“It is high time our elders stepped aside to give youths a chance to lead the political parties. The youth, with their population, must dictate who becomes what in 2023,” he said.

Mustapha, who served as a member of the APC Committee on Strategic Planning, Contact and Mobilisation, said he would entrench discipline, restore party supremacy, enhance internal democracy, and ensure inclusion and a reward system if elected national chairman.

On why the party must respect zoning, he said: “We must begin a healing process. We must give everyone a sense of belonging. The Nigeria of our dream is where everyone can aspire to power no matter where they come from.

“Nigeria’s unity is paramount and sacrosanct and that can only be guaranteed when we adhere to zoning. With mutual understanding and inclusion, even those calling for secession will reconsider.”

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