2023 presidency: Political parties must honour gentleman agreements, says Fashola

… Insists PDP, others not thinking ahead 2023, hence APC will retain power

… Endorses Caretaker Committee’s programs for APC

By Ezeocha Nzeh

Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashion has referred those clamouring for zoning ahead of the 2023 presidential elections to the country’s constitution, noting that the Nigerian Constitution does not have provision for zoning of offices

The Governor of Lagos State however noted that in the absence of constitutional provisions for zoning, political parties have areas where they agreed on certain political necessities, which he emphasised must be honoured

Fashola, who spoke to the media on Monday in his office, noted also that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and other political parties are not thinking above board to retake power, noting that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) will retain power in 2023

He urged stakeholders of the APC to rally behind the party’s National Caretaker Committee and give them the full support to finish their mandated task of repositioning the party

“Now in terms of of the Caretaker Committee, perhaps this is a good opportunity. The first meeting of APC don’t forget, what became APC, the first meeting was convened in my official residence in Lagos, 11 of us and some of you were asking what we were doing 11 Governors and I said you just watch but after that there is a bigger responsibility. Winning the election is not the challenge, is delivering the governance that is the big deal and that’s what I am committed to do. So you see at that time, some people, we have party officers some people decided that we wanted to be Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Publicity Secretary, we voted for them. That’s what they choose. If there is a crisis, that has now led us to have a Caretaker Committee, we must also respect the Caretaker Committee, let it do its job. Those of us who didn’t contest to hold party offices let’s focus on our jobs too and stop bashing in each other’s room. So, every support that the Caretaker Committee requires we will provide if it’s within our reach to do so.

“I am in touch with them, at the end of the day we are governed by rules. I know quite a number of them on a personal basis. So let’s support them to achieve the immediate mandate of their responsibility and they brought some stability at least we won an election. Some Governors have joined us where we think that we could not get water before…

The Minister assured that the APC will retain power in 2023, stressing however that it must try to fulfill it’s election promises

“To retain power in 2023, certainly if we keep our promises, is that simple. That’s politics. If you do what you said you will do even if you don’t do 100% and they see that you are making progress, they will even want you to finish some what you started.

“Our opposition has to think better than us inorder to defeat us, right now they are not doing that. When it’s election time they should come and meet us.

On zoning, he said, “First let’s talk about law, let’s talk about agreement, the law is the Constitution. Constitution decides the age which you can contest certain offices and there is nothing in the Constitution that says zoning. All are political parties, political parties are clubs where you write agreements just like a social club and we can decide that it is the youngest person who will be the Chairman of the Club or we can decide that it is the oldest person or the next female or the next male, that is the matter of agreement between people But the Constitution that sets up the climate of political parties formation does not prescribe zoning.

“The truth is that what makes an agreement specification is the honour in which it is made not whether it is written. If it was written there would be no Court cases of bleach of contract because it’s document that is written and signed that go to court. But the private agreement you make with your brother and sister can be bleached, is honour.”

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