APC offers Senator Ike Ekweremadu presidential ticket in 2023 if he leaves PDP

DEPUTY senate president Senator Ike Ekweremadu has been told that he may be the favourite Igbo candidate to become president in 2023 if he leaves the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and joins the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).


Nigeria goes to the polls next year during which the APC will field President Muhammadu Buhari as its presidential candidate as he seeks a second term. Knowing the race will be tight, the APC is trying to woo the Igbo-speaking southeast geo-political zone from which Senator Ekweremadu of Enugu State hails.


In a veiled statement prodding Senator Ekweremadu to run for the presidency in 2023, senate majority leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, told him that 2023 is there to be taken. At a plenary session yesterday, Senator Lawan, while greeting Senator Ekweremadu who clocked 56 on Sunday, urged him to dump the opposition PDP for the APC.


Senator Lawan said:  “He is the longest serving presiding officer in the National Assembly. I am not PDP and I will never be but I know Senator Ike Ekweremadu has been a very loyal and committed deputy senate president.


“I will not miss the opportunity to urge Senator Ike Ekweremadu to see through the mist, this unholy environment and take the right decisions. You are an asset, don’t stay and rot away or waste away."


Under Nigeria's zoning policy, the presidency tends to rotate between the north and the south of the country, so if President Buhari leaves office, it will be the turn of the south to produce the president. Given that the southwest and south-south have both produced presidents in the shape of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr Goodluck Jonathan, many believe it is the time of the southeast to produce the next president.


“I join the numerous leaders and elders of the southeast who have understood that Nigeria needs the commitment of people like you and that Nigeria needs the unity of everybody to make it better for the masses of this country. We need stability and I want to say clearly and assert that you are going to fit in perfectly well, 2023 is there to be taken,” Senator Lawan added.


A close confidant of President Buhari, Senator Lawan who represents Yobe North, had once been tipped to become senate president but was edged out by the intrigues of Senator Bukola Saraki. It is expected that Senator Lawan will be a key player in the government if President Buhari is returned to office next year.