Political leaders from the South-East geo-political zone have appealed to Nigerians across board to support the emergence of a President from the zone come 2023.
Leaders across party lines attended a meeting convened by the Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Kalu, at Igbere, Bende Local Government Area of Abia State on Tuesday and resolved to support any major political party, which zones its presidential ticket to the South-East.
This was contained in a five-point communiqué signed by Senator Pius Anyim and Chief Ben Kalu after the meeting.
The communiqué read in part, “The people of the South-East have continued to demonstrate their commitment to the unity and development of the country.
“Not only has the zone actively supported the emergency of Nigerian presidents of other geo-political zones’ extraction, the people are also known to be major agents of development and heavy investors outside their zone and often next in population after the indigenes in any state of Nigeria.
“We recommit ourselves to deepening the nation’s democracy as the surest way of fast-tracking national development and building an egalitarian society where no man is oppressed for the sake of his class, ethnic, religious or political affiliation and background.
“We implore Nigerians across political, ethnic, religious and geopolitical divides and persuasion to support the people of the South-East geo-political zone to produce a Nigerian President of the South-East extraction as a mark of good faith and to promote justice and national harmony.”
The communiqué added, “For emphasis, we deem this very important in giving every part of the country a sense of belonging and in promoting national unity and solidarity. It is the loudest reassurance of equality of all parts and that the country indeed belongs to all members of the Nigerian Commonwealth.
“Consequently, we implore all the political parties to cede their presidential tickets in the 2023 general elections to the South-East in the interest of justice, equity and national unity.”
The communiqué further stated, “To make good our demand and reciprocate such good faith, we have decided as a geo-political zone with substantial presence in every part of country to give a block vote and throw our full weight behind any major political party, particularly the All Progressive Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party, that zones its presidential ticket to the South-East in 2023.
“We emphasize that what we seek is a Nigerian President of the South-East extraction, one who will work to further unite and develop every part of the country. Such a President will be President for all Nigerians irrespective of their political, ethnic and religious backgrounds.”
The meeting was attended by Anyim; a former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu; Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Mrs Nkeiruka Onyejeoch; Deputy Minority Leader of the House Representatives, Tobi Okechukwu; and the spokesman for the House of Representatives, Ben Kalu, among others.