It has already been decided that there will not be an Igbo president in 2023, a top official of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) says.
The presidency will instead be handed over to the South-West once Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim from the north, finishes his second tenure in three year’s time.
The decision to hand power back to the South-West, a major voting block in the predominantly Christian south, was made in 2014 by those who founded the APC.
This is according to Lagos APC caretaker chairman Tunde Balogun who says it would be “dishonourable” for the party to jettison the agreement now, adding that President Buhari, party chieftain Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and many other persons made the “gentleman’s agreement”.
Balogun made the comments in the wake of the shakeups in the APC, a development observers say is indicative of moves to derail whatever agreements led to the formation of the party. Part of the dissenting move, they say, is to zone the presidency to the largely Igbo South-East for the first time.
But Balogun says that would be unfair.
“In 2014, the founding fathers of APC had a gentleman’s agreement and they committed themselves to the agreement,” Balogun told Punch on Saturday.
“The party was victorious because they honoured the agreement they made and everyone worked together for the party in 2015 and 2019.
“According to the 2014 agreement, the South-West should be the zone to produce the presidential candidate in 2023. Among them (those present) were President Buhari and Tinubu.
“What I want is for this agreement to be honoured by the founding fathers. I have no doubt in my mind that they are men of honour. An agreement was reached and that agreement produced Buhari as the President in 2015 and 2019, so to jettison the agreement now will be dishonourable.
“Like I said, they are men of honour and I hope they will honour the agreement. They know what I’m talking about. Anything different from following the agreement is like shifting the goalpost.”