From Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Executive Director of Africa Polling Institute, (API), Prof Bell Ihua, has appealed to the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to zone their tickets to the South East to produce the next president in 2023.
Professor Ihua, at a press briefing yesterday in Abuja, contended that it would be unfair for the North or South West to occupy the position.
“For instance, the president is about serving out his 8-year tenure, it has become accepted in the minds of Nigerians that for the sake of equity since the president is from the northern extraction of the country, the next president should come from the southern extraction; and possibly since the current president is a Muslim, that the next president should be a Christian.
“These are modern-day realities of the Nigeria of today; however, we know politicians have their ways and often disagree to agree over these matters.”
He expressed fears that the electorate would vote for candidates based on ethnicity and tribe rather than competence, which he added, had been the bane of the country’s development.
“From my experience, I believe religion and ethnicity would play a role in the elections. Unfortunately, that is where we currently are as a nation.
“Religion and ethnicity have become intertwined into our politics; so, much as anyone would talk about the credentials and qualities of an incoming leader when the chips are down, religion and ethnicity would still play a role.
“However, this isn’t to despair because credible and competent candidates can be found from across the major religious affiliations and ethnic groupings in the country. So, it behoves on the political parties to put their best foot forward,” he said.