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A former President of the Senate, Ken Nnamani has asserted that it will be a moral burden on the All Progressives Congress if the ruling party fails to field one of the presidential aspirants from the South-East in the 2023 general elections.
While Nnamani said aspirants from the South-East are working towards having a consensus candidate for the geopolitical zone, he, however, said the aspirants would concede to any consensus candidate chosen by the APC.
The Presidential aspirant, on Monday, made this known while speaking on a Channels Television program which was monitored by The Eastern Updates.
The ex-Senate President asked why the APC would throw its presidential ticket open – to the North and the South – when it applied the zoning formula in its National Working Committee elections.
Nnamani said, ‘I already established that the offices held in the North would go to the South, the ones from the South would go to the North. So, why does a particular one have to change? That is, the seat of the President is thrown open. Why didn’t we throw open the other offices? It is not that it is obligatory, but it bothers on equity fairness and justice.’
On the possibility of the APC having its presidential candidate from the South-East, Nnamani stated that it is a decision to be made by the party. ‘There is no one zone in Nigeria that has the monopoly of people ready to take up the mantle of leadership. It is not peculiar to any zone. We will find capable hands if we look deep,’ he said.
Nnamani added, ‘That bothers on the ability to unite the country. The situation calls for deepening our democracy, making people feel they belong, and giving people hope. And without that, there are disgruntled citizens, and no section can enjoy that. We have to give the people the impression that Nigeria is for everybody. The South-East is not short of people that can play that role.’
He stressed that aspirants from the South-East have been trying to persuade others from other zones. ‘We are not threatening any persons; we are trying to show why we must adhere to the federal character principle. Let no section feel alienated. Alienation will make people feel hopeless, and we don’t want that,’ the former lawmaker stated.
While Nnamani said some people feel the Igbo were marginalised, he felt it was “to some extent.” He added, “If we had adopted the principle of (power) rotation and our people had equally felt that this time around, on the issue of the presidency, the south-easterners should have a slot and a go at it, it is not that we don’t have the people that can unify the country and achieve more success for the nation. We do.”
When asked if the aspirants from the South-East, who recently met at the home of another aspirant and former Governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha, were ready to pick a consensus candidate from among them, Nnamani said, “We are. That is to show that we can work together. Anybody identified among those who showed interest; we will work with that individual.”
However, the ex-Senate President said the aspirants had yet to fix a date to pick the candidate.
Nnamani also said he had no idea of a planned meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari, and presidential aspirants in the APC.