Zoning: South East insists on 2023 presidency

By AdvocateNews on 26/03/2022

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Apex Igbo socio-cultural body, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and several other groups have appealed to the leading political parties in the country to cede their presidential tickets to the South East in the interest of justice, equity, fairness and unity and sustainable development of the country.

This came after indications had emerged that the two major parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), might not be desirous about zoning their presidential slots to the South-East.

Saturday Sun learnt that people of the region see the development as unsavoury and are determine to show their discontentment.

Already, Ohanaeze, Igbo Elders Consultative Forum (IECF) and others have warned South East political gladiators to shun the offer of a Vice Presidential slot from any of the parties.

National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Chief Alex Ogbonnia said it would be a major disappointment and setback to the Igbo and indeed, Nigeria, if a South Easterner did not become President of Nigeria, next year.

Ogbonnia said the APC as the party in power determines the political dynamics of Nigeria.

“The APC-led government is expected to zone its Presidential ticket to the South East for the sake of justice, equity, fairness and unity and sustainable development because all these insecurity and crises we are experiencing are because people are not happy in Nigeria. 

“That’s why those of us in Ohanaeze are saying that our political gladiators should not glamorize indignity by accepting the vice presidential slot. We deserve the Presidency. Our people have really paid enough price in Nigeria. We= have made the highest sacrifice in this country and the soothing balm would just be the Presidency next year,” the Ohanaeze spokesman said. 

Leader of Igbo Elders Forum, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife recently said in a press conference in Abuja that the Igbo would vote against any party that did not give the presidential ticket to someone from the South-East.

Similarly, Igbo National Council (INC) has threatened to mobilise Nigerians to reject the APC and PDP in next year’s general elections if they failed to zone the Presidency to the South East.

National President of INC, Chilos God sent, in a statement, enjoined the APC and PDP as well as other parties to have equity and fairness at the back of their minds as they determine their standard bearers.

He said: “Having critically analysed the political developments unfolding in APC and PDP, with the inability of the aforementioned to categorically make a public pronouncement on the issues, the sacred demands that the APC and PDP should officially zone their Presidential Ticket to South East.

“The Igbo National Council therefore, condemns the treacherous policy adopted by the APC and PDP to keep their Presidential Expression of Interest Form and Nomination Form open for purchase by aspirants from North West, North East and North Central Zones, respectively.

“We therefore argue that the APC, PDP and ADC should officially zone their Presidential ticket to South East in order to save Nigeria from the impending doom.

“Consequent upon the above, if the APC and PDP fail to zone their Presidential tickets to South East, the Igbo INC will mobilize the already aggrieved masses of Nigeria to reject APC and PDP in 2023.”

But, the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF), lamented that there would certainly be no option left for Ndigbo if their demand was rejected by the parties.

Acting National Secretary of ADF, Abia Onyike said such denial of presidential chance would close all openings or chances for a diplomatic resolution of the Igbo Question in Nigeria.

He said it would heighten two main agitations, namely, the struggle for the restructuring of the federation and the struggle for self-determination by the Igbo.

Onyike stated: “But we in ADF do not believe in restructuring. We believe in the reconstitution and renegotiation of the artificial federation. We want a return to regional autonomy with fiscal federalism. But in the event that these options fail, self-determination for the ethnic nationalities becomes inevitable. All oppressed ethnic nationalities in Nigeria can opt for their separate nationhood as autonomous republics under the banner of the African Union.”

The Igbo Leadership Development Foundation has said there would be consequences if the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) denies the South East its 2023 presidential ticket.

The Director in charge of  Public Affairs, in the group, Law Mefor, stated this in an interview with Saturday Sun, amidst anxiety over the zoning of the PDP 2023 presidential ticket.

Mefor, who noted that the principle of rotation and zoning of offices is enshrined in the PDP constitution, stated  that “the structural imbalances in Nigeria have made federal character and rotation of presidential power inevitable.”

According to him, “the rotation and zoning principle was written into the PDP party’s constitution in 2009. Further amendments of the PDP Constitution never tampered with this express provision for rotation and zoning in the party. In its wisdom and patriotic zeal, the PDP has allowed power to rotate between North and South and made it both a manifesto and a constitutional matter.

“History is about repeating itself. Those who fail to learn from history are said to be condemned to repeat class. There will be consequences from the South East against the PDP in protest if the zone is denied the presidential ticket of the party. Mark my words.”

Posted 26/03/2022 1:31:56 PM


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