Political leaders from the Southeast region across political parties, Tuesday, unanimously agreed that only political parties that zone the presidential slot to the South-east would get the support of the people in 2023.
reports that since the six months’ military era of former military head of state, Gen Thomas Aguiyi Ironsi, in 1966, no Southeast person had occupied the nation’s one citizens.
The latest demand was contained in a communiqué issued by Southeast leaders across various political parties, including the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), after their meeting held at Igbere, the country home of the Senate chief whip, and former governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Uzo Kalu.
The communiqué was signed by Dr Kalu, former deputy Senate president Ike Ekweremadu, former Senate president, Anyim Pius Anyim; deputy majority whip, House of Representatives, Nkeiru Onyejeocha; spokesman of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, and the first national chairman of APGA, Chief Chekwas Okorie.
The communiqué read: “Political leaders of the Southeast across all political persuasions met at Igbere, Abia State, on January 5, 2021 to discuss the political future of the geopolitical zone vis-à-vis the 2023 general election. The meeting recalled that Nigerians across political, ethnic, and religious divides fought hard, long, and collectively to enthrone the current democratic dispensation as the surest way to engender national development and guarantee a just and equitable society where every section of the country enjoys a sense of belonging.
“The meeting observed that the Presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has rotated between Northern and Southern Nigeria, and among the various geopolitical zones. Thus, the Southwest and Southsouth geopolitical zones in the southern part of the country have produced the president of Nigeria. Hence as power is expected to rotate to the south in 2023, the meeting noted that the Southeast is the only zone in the south that is yet to produce a president of Nigeria in the current democratic dispensation.
“The meeting further observed that the people of the Southeast have continued to demonstrate their commitment to the unity and development of the country. Not only has the geopolitical zone actively supported the emergence of Nigerian president of other geopolitical extractions, the people are also known to be major agents of development and heavy investors outside their zone and often the next in population after the indigenes in any state of Nigeria. Our well-pronounced presence and investments in every nook and cranny of the country represent the firmest and most practical demonstration of faith in the unity, peace, and continued corporate existence of the country, for where a man’s treasure is, there his heart lies also.
“In view of the above and after exhaustive and incisive deliberations, Southeast political leaders resolved to:
“Recommit ourselves to the deepening of the nation’s democracy as the surest way of fast-tracking national development and building an egalitarian society where no man is oppressed for reasons of his class, ethnic, religious or political affiliation and background.
“Implore Nigerians across political, ethnic, religious, and geopolitical divides and persuasions to support the people of the Southeast geopolitical zone to produce a Nigerian president of Southeast extraction as a mark of good faith and to promote justice and national harmony. For emphasis, we deem this very important in giving every part of the country a sense of belonging and in promoting national unity and solidarity. It is the loudest reassurance of equality of all parts and that the country indeed belongs to all members of the Nigerian commonwealth
“Consequently implore all the political parties to cede their presidential tickets in the 2023 general election to the Southeast in the interest of justice, equity and national unity. To make good our demand and reciprocate such good faith, we have decided, as a geopolitical zone with substantial presence in every part of the country to give a block vote and throw our full weight behind any major political party, particularly the APC and PDP, that zones its presidential ticket to the Southeast in 2023 general elections. We resolved to work for such a party irrespective of our different individual political parties.
“To emphasis that what we seek is a Nigerian president of Southeast extraction, one that will work to further unite and develop every part of the country. Such a president will be president of all Nigerians irrespective of their political, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, ensuring that all citizens and every part of the country is given a sense of belonging and treated with utmost sense of justice. Such was the dream of the founding fathers of this great nation wherefore they declared that though tribe and tongue may differ, in brotherhood we stand. For the same reason, they also committed to building a just nation where no man is oppressed so that Nigeria may be blessed with peace, plenty, and prosperity.”
Our correspondent however reports that governors of various Southeast states shunned the event. Ebonyi governor Dave Umahi, who is the chairman of the Southeast Governors’ Forum, said the governors did not attend the meeting because they were not involved in the planning.
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