Former National chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Senator Victor Umeh, said for the sake of unity of Nigeria, the South East should produce the president of Nigeria come 2023.
The senator pointed that the zone should not be denied the opportunity on historical basis regarding the Nigerian civil war.
Umeh told journalists at the reopening of the Enugu airport that all the zones in the South have produced leadership of the country except the South East.
He said: “It is wrong for the other parts of the country that have provided leadership to vie for it now. For example the South-West had Obasanjo who served 8 years. Their son is also Vice President now. The South-South have produced the president through Jonathan.
“South East is the remaining part of Southern Nigeria yet to take its slot. So on that basis we thank the president for the work he had done on the Enugu Airport and other infrastructures in the South East – roads and second Niger Bridge. But none is more important than closing the gap by making the South East produce the best president for Nigeria in 2023. Let’s not play politics with that.
“Somebody had told me that the APC is weak in the South-East. And I asked the person what was the strength of the PDP in South-West in 1999 when Obasanjo became the president.
The PDP had no councilor in the whole of Southwest. Alliance for Democracy had everything in the Southwest. But due to the exigency to accommodate the Southwest in the presidency, Obasanjo was elected even though he lost in his polling unit in his local government.”
He posited that the situation in the Southeast now is better than then in the Southwest.
He said: “How much more now that the APC is controlling a state in the Southeast, in Imo. And they have others elected as senators and House of Representative members. That argument is no longer tenable.
“They need to make it a policy that the Southeast should provide the leadership of Nigeria in 2023. It is not that we will die if don’t produce the president of Nigeria in 2023. But it is for the country to be truly united. What goes around should come around.
“And we have intellectuals, technocrats and the best people that can provide quality leadership to Nigeria if given the opportunity. So all parts of Nigeria should support the Southeast to produce the president in 2023. Across all the political parties, let there be no contest. The way they did in 1999 where Alliance for Democracy and APP produced Olu Falae and PDP produced Obasanjo. You can see that in 1999 the Southwest were the only people that contested for the presidency in Nigeria. So this is not a new thing. It’s been there. We have antecedents.
“The Southeast has capable people in abundance to lead Nigeria. The need to concede the presidency to the Southeast unassailable at this point and when you are looking for such a material, we have them in abundance.”