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Published On: Mon, Aug 20th, 2018

UPP zones 2019 presidency to north

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By Ikechukwu Okaforadi

United Progressive Party (UPP) has disclosed that in the 2019 presidential election, the party will adopt from the northern region a presidential candidate who has a progressive approach to the challenges facing the country, in line with the party’s manifesto and agenda.
Briefing journalists yesterday at the party’s headquarters, Chairman of the party, Chekwas Okorie, who was flanked by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party, said categorically that the party will not field a presidential candidate in the next year’s general election.
“UPP shall not sponsor a presidential candidate for the 2019 presidential election. The party shall use the period between now and 2023 general election to consolidate its nationwide political structures and concentrate energy and resources in active participation in other elective contests, namely: governorship, senatorial, House of Representatives, and state assembly elections in Nigeria”, Okorie said
According to him, the NEC of the party took the decision given that there is an unwritten agreement on power rotation between the northern and southern Nigeria, adding that since the tide of power shift is clearly in favour of the north, field a presidential candidate from southern region will mean swimming against the tide.
While citing instance with both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); which he said lost the 2015 presidential election because it flouted the zoning arrangement, he said no serious political party will field a presidential candidate from another region other than north.
However, he place a caveat that the UPP will only adopt a Presidential candidate who has a progressive solution to the challenges facing Nigeria, adding that such candidate must be ready to adopt some of the cardinal principles of the party as enshrined it its manifesto, including restructuring, right to self-determination, freedom for political prisoners, among others.
Speaking further, the UPP chairman said the party will continue to explore the possibility of a constructive engagement with a political party or parties through alliance for electoral leverage and enhanced advantage in the democratic contests.
At this juncture, he disclosed also that the NEC of the party has approved exemption on the payment of nomination fees for youths from age thirty downwards, women and physically challenged, for all elective offices, saying this is in the spirit of #Not Too Young To Run Law, recently signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
However, he said the NEC of the party has mandated the National Working Committee (NWC) to review the reports of the various committees that have attended meetings on alliance/coalition with other political parties and take appropriate decisions in the best interest of the party.

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