2023: Ex-Minister makes case for Igbo Presidency

Posted by News Express | 9 March 2021 | 869 times

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•Ex-Minister of State for Health, Engr. Fidelis Nwankwo



A former Minister of State for Health, Engr. Fidelis Nwankwo, has asked the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to concede the 2023 presidential slot to the South-East geopolitical zone.

Nwankwo made this known while speaking with journalists in Abakaliki, capital of Ebonyi state.

The former Minister said that the South-East region had long supported other candidates from other political regions, saying that is the turn of other zones to support the Igbos to actualise the project.

According to him, “I want to be realistic about a South Easterner becoming the President of Nigeria. Forget about sentiments, it’s all about doing things the right way. We have two major political parties, that a candidate can reasonably stay and aspire to become the President, namely the All Progressive Congress (APC) and PDP. Igbo’s who are intent of becoming President of Nigeria should project themselves to the publics. Those who are interested should present themselves to Nigerians and show their capacity that they can do this job for Nigeria.

“Then the sentiment is the second aspect of it. The sentiment is that a south easterner has not been president of this country, at least from this Democratic dispensation which started in 1998. And I will go further to say, that for those of us in the PDP, where I belonged. We have very good reasons to ask PDP to zone the President to South East. We voted PDP all through these years. We supported candidates from other political zones.

“And now, we think it should be conceded to us and on that premise, I will advise those who have what it takes: the candidates should be prominent, then and get the support of his region which is South East. And the region in turn, should lobby other regions to see reasons why the President should go to South East now. And so, it is not by sentiment alone, we should let other regions know that we have competent hands that will do this job. I think the masses are getting tired of names, they want actions.”

Nwankwo further called on the two major political parties in Nigeria; APC and PDP to concede 2023 Presidential slots to the South East region for the purpose of equity and fairness.

“That’s what I’m talking about. The primary person is the one who wants to be President. And as far I am concerned, the second group is those in PDP in South East should come together and support the candidate because at this stage, there may be one candidate who will be aspiring to contest for President. South East should be able to tell other regions that look, if it is Mr A or Mr B is qualified, he will do well and Mr A or B are the people we trust that can make a good President of this country. He is not going to be President of the South east, he is going to be president of the Federal republic of Nigeria. And that’s the point I'm making.

“Well, whatever you are doing, you should know there is a rule. In Nigeria, there is a constitution, elections are contested under political parties, political party must sponsor you. And so, whatever you are doing to become a President has to be guided by the rules of your political party.

“As far as the person is keeping and protecting the rule of his political party, then who am I to frown at the person method. Methods of looking for political power defers. And that may not be an issue.”

The former INEC chief, however, expressed displeasure on how prominent leaders in Ebonyi state and in South East zone are mortgaging their integrity while seeking political position.

He said: “Obviously I am in PDP today, I’m not hiding about it. And if I begin to do certain things that will undermine APC and using whatever is peace, then people will be looking at my integrity. The question of PDP and APC in Ebonyi State, remains a matter of choice. A lot of people choose to remain in PDP, after the defection of the governor and others choose to join, fine and good.

“But if after joining APC and you are still saying that you are in PDP and that has to do with integrity. We are in a society where we know each other. I don't want to really comment on this because we are not losing sleep over this. Nigerians are now very wiser and Ebonyi people are among the wise Nigerians. We have politicians and voters who are very perspective and of course they know what is happening.

“There are no challenges, it just small irritations from some areas in the state, which we can do without losing sleep. We are not losing sleep over that. We are rebuilding the party and it is our desire that all hands will be on deck. Ebonyi is PDP and PDP is Ebonyi and nobody can do anything about it.”

Source: News Express

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