An advocacy group, the Nigerian Presidential Project (NPP) yesterday in Enugu urged the two major political parties in the country, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to reserve their 2023 presidential tickets for candidates from the South-East zone in the spirit of equity, fairness and justice.
The group said there was the need to repeat the 1999 scenario when the two dominant parties then, the PDP and the Alliance for Democracy produced candidates from the South-West in order to address the 1993 political debacle when their own, Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the election that year was denied his mandate.
Addressing newsmen in Enugu during the inaugural launching of the group’s movement intended to achieve the full political integration of the South East in Nigeria’s power distribution with particular regard to the office of the President of Nigeria, its chancellor, Dr. Walter Oji said even when the third party, the All Peoples Party (APP) produced Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, he was prevailed upon to withdraw for Chief Olu Falae, making it an all Yoruba candidates election.
The group insisted that there is no better time than now for the South East to produce the country’s president.
The group also noted that the full political rehabilitation of the South East Zone into Nigeria’s political power distribution remained the most glaring area yet to be addressed, adding that Nigeria’s power rotation has been a North to South and South to North arrangement.
He said that with the arrangement and with the incumbent president coming from the Northern region and serving out his second tenure, the position of the president is obviously to rotate to the Southern region which consists of three Geo-Political zones, including the South West, South-South and the South East.
“It is trite that South-West zone produced former president Olusegun Obasanjo while the South-South zone produced former president, Goodluck Jonathan.
“There should be no doubt, there should be no question and there should be no equivocation about the rightful demand by the South East zone to produce the next president”. All political parties are called upon to zone their presidential candidate to the Southeast”, he said.
He maintained that the push for an Igbo president is not going to be easy as power is usually not given but taken.
He however noted that the group has commenced handshake across the Niger and Benue and a real time outreach within the Atlantic coverage of its Southern neighbours and that it is prepared to commit unlimited amount of financial and human resources for the actualization of the noble cause.
He explained that the realization of a president of Igbo extraction would mean respect for the concept of power rotation and zoning which is not new.
“It has been part of our culture and is embraced by all Nigerians and political parties as a means of ensuring equity, justice and fair play in power distribution” he said.
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