Nigerian Opposition Hints It Wants Southerner as Next President
Nigeria’s main opposition party said its next chairman will come from the north of the country, fueling expectations it may select a southerner to fight the next presidential contest.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who is from the north of Africa’s most populous nation, is due to step down after elections in early 2023. Nigeria’s two dominant parties must decide whether to maintain an unofficial convention of rotating the presidency between the largely Muslim north and predominantly Christian south.
The Peoples Democratic Party will swap its existing allocation of senior national posts between the two halves of the country, meaning the chairmanship will switch to the north, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, head of its zoning committee, said at a media briefing Thursday.
The PDP held power in Nigeria from the restoration of democracy in 1999 through four elections until its defeat by Buhari and his All Progressives Congress 16 years later.
The committee’s mandate didn’t include deciding where the PDP’s presidential candidate will come from, said Ugwuanyi, who is also a state governor. However, northerners held the party’s top office when a southerner was head of state and vice versa. The PDP will elect a new chairman at its national convention in late October.
The ruling APC is yet to signal who it will nominate to succeed Buhari.
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