Leaders of various political parties of Southeast extraction have vowed not to support any political party that fielded Presidential candidates outside the Southeast political block in 2023.
This was part of the resolutions reached at the end of a bi-partisan meeting of political leaders of the Southeast on Tuesday in a meeting held at the Camp Neya, Igbere, the country home of the Chief Whip of the 9th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.
In a communiqué read on behalf of the Southeast leaders by the former Senate President and one-time Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF); Senator Anyim Pius Anyim warned political parties including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressives Congress (APC) among others considering giving their presidential ticket to any candidate outside Igbo land to consider losing the support of the people of the zone, as they will only vote for Igbo presidential candidates regardless of the political party.
The Southeast leaders who lamented that despite the political and economic contributions of the people of the zone which cannot be swept under the carpet, the zone have continued being marginalized.
“We 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. ..
“…We 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 election.
“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 whereof 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,” the Southeast leaders posited in the joint communiqué.
Earlier in their speeches, immediate past Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha; House of Representatives Deputy Chief, Chekwa Okorie, former Minister for State, FCT, Chuka Odum and among other speakers noted that the zone have suffered marginalization after the end of the civil war and even in the last 20 years of the current democratic dispensation.
According to Onyejeocha, “It is still not late for the Igbos to take what belongs to them. What happened today has shown that the people of the southeast can actually come together to speak in one voice.
“I urge President Muhhamadu Buhari to support the presidential quest of the Southeast.”
Among other personalities in attendance was Hon. Toby Okechukwu; House of Representatives Minority leader, House of Rep Spokesman Hon. Benjamin Kalu, former Speakers of Abia State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Stanley Ohajuruka and Rt. Hon. Chikwendu Kanu, Chief Chekwas Okorie, founder of All progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Sen. Obinna Ogba, Hon. Madukwe Livinus, and among other Southeast dignitaries.
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Governors of the Southeast states were absent from the meeting, though it was reported that most of them sent delegates to the meeting