Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Monday gave the National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, 7 days ultimatum to zone the 2023 presidential slot to the southeast zone of the country.
Addressing Newsmen in Abakaliki, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru made it clear that if the demands of the House Members were not met, it will pave way for dire consequences for the Party in the State. Nwifuru who explained that the southeast zone has lots of qualified personalities to run for the presidential position in 2023 added that the zone had paid its dues in the political arena, in order to position it for the presidential slot on the 18 February 2023 Presidential election.
“The unity of our beloved country, Nigeria, has always been hinged on the principles of equity, justice, and fairness. It is on such conventional wisdom that the country has striven to grow and develop equally across all her geopolitical zones.
“In furtherance of the above principles, we, the Honourable Members of the sixth (6th) Ebonyi State House of Assembly, wish to draw the attention of our great Party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to the rightful yearning of our industrious and peace-loving people of the southeast Nigeria, that the position of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria come 29th May 2023, be zoned to the South East.
“Since the inception of this democracy, the zone has paid its dues having worked assiduously and massively voted for all the presidential candidates of our great party – Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), when the people of the South West in the year 1999 and 2003, the people of North West in 2007, the people of South-South in 2011 and 2015, the people of the North East in 2019, all contested for Presidency.
“It is on record that since the inception of democracy in this country, from 1999 till date, the five (5) States of the South East have always delivered the presidential candidates of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), 100 per cent.
“It is only appropriate in the spirit of democracy, equity, justice, and fairness that the position of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria come 2023, be zoned to the South East. “South East has presidential personalities, people who are globally renowned, reliable, acceptable, tested and trusted to the position; having discharged their duties efficiently and effectively in the positions held before now.
“Persons like Peter Obi (Former PDP Vice Presidential Candidate in the 2019 elections and former Governor of Anambra State), Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim (former Senate President and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation), Sen. Ike Ekweremmadu (former 3-time Deputy President of the Senate), Sen. Theodore Orji (former Governor of Abia State), Achike Udenwa (former governor of Imo State), and a host of others.
So we have qualified people who are very much available for this position. “We did not mention our Governors not because they are not qualified but these highly qualified persons are not holding positions currently and there are other eminent qualified Igbo leaders as well who are trusted, competent, capable and reliable.
That tells you, gentlemen of the press that we are not asking for what we don’t have, so our party should not turn this request down. “On this note, we are giving our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), 7 days ultimatum to convocated the National Executive Committee of the party and zone the position of the Presidency to southeast Nigeria, especially as INEC has officially announced the date of the presidential elections.
“In no minimal measure, this will further develop and unite our dear country. “Equally, the party should not contemplate removing the National Chairman of the Party, Prince Uche Secundus as it is customary that the zone (South) from where the National Chairman comes from produces the Presidential Candidate of the Party.
If this advise is not adhered to, it will further divide and destabilize the party along sectional and regional lines. “Failure to adhere to these kind requests will cost our party heavily and we, the Honourable Members of the 6th Ebonyi State House of Assembly will leave no stone unturned in taking decisive actions to ensure that traditions and dividends of democracy are respected in our party.”
Many political actors have speculated that the State House of Assembly members were preparing the ground for their eventual defection to the All Progressives Congress, APC, not minding some dissenting voices within them.
Our Coordinator- General Mazi Kenneth Oti, Enugu State Coordinator, Mr. Temple Chinedu, our Enugu state, Director-of-Mobilization, were at hand!