Southeast for President 2023(aka SEFORP2023) have disagreed with the Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu over a statement he made on Monday, on zoning arrangement in the All Progressive Congress, APC, over 2023 Presidency.
Kalu was in Minna, Niger State on Monday, 31 August, 2020, to pay a visit to the former Heads of State, General Ibrahim Babangida, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, Governor of Niger State, Sani Bello and Emir of Minna, Dr Umar Faruq.
Kalu who responded to questions from members of the press on national issues at the residence of General Abubakar explained that his visit to Ibrahim Babangida, Abdulsalami Abubakar, Sani Bello and Emir Umar Faruq were on a private ground, not as Chief Whip of the Senate.
When asked question on issue of zonning the Presidency, the former governor described the matter as one that would be addressed by the political party. Senator Kalu pointed out that the party’s decision remained supreme.
He said; “it’s an issue of party, the parties have every right to decide the zone which would produce the candidate to represent it in the polls.
”In APC we have no issue of zoning, anybody can contest for election, zoning does not exist in the party’s constitution. As long it is not a constitutional matter the Presidential bid remains an open basket which anybody can vie for.” He concluded.
Reacting to Kalu’s statement relating to zoning of Presidency, The Southeast for President 2023(aka SEFORP2023) Movement, said in as much as they agreed with Senator Kalu’s statement but zoning has to remain until the Southeast produce President.
The group in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Rev Okechukwu C Obioha JP, said it will be unfair if not given the Southeast the opportunity to produce a President of Nigeria come 2023. Citing, Southwest was giving the opportunity which produced Olusegun Obasanjo; Southsouth; Goodluck Jonathan; North under Buhari and 2023 is the turn of the Southeast.
The full statement read.
“Dr Orji Uzor Kalu was quoted to have said on issue of zoning the Presidency, that the matter is one that would be addressed by the political parties. Yes, SEFORP2023 agree on that.
“He pointed out that the parties decision remained supreme. That the parties have every right to decide the zone which would produce the candidate to represent it in the polls. SEFORP2023 agree on that too.
“The Chief Whip was also quoted that “In APC we have no issue of zoning, anybody can contest for election, zoning does not exist in the party’s constitution. As long it is not a constitutional matter, the Presidential bid remains an open basket which anybody can vie for” He said.
“First, SEFORP2023 is grossly feeling disappointed that the above statement is coming from a supposed representative of his people the Southeast (Igbo) in the capacity of a Senator and no less a position as the Chief Whip of the red chamber. Very unfortunate.
“Second, SEFORP2023 must remind him that he is ignorant of history to note that till date, the six zonal structure which is now the bases for revenue formulae, political, economic and social sharing is not yet embedded in our constitution and yet it is an acceptable formula and a norm.
“Thirdly, he is economic with the truth and realities here, if he will forget so soon what and how he secured the position of the Chief Whip, as he had argued and canvassed vehemently that the Southeast must be given a principal office in the red chamber as part of zoning, which as he insisted, must be respected. Was that in the constitution of the APC.
“We advise him to reconsider his position as stated and know that the Presidency, which is now residing in the North for eight years by 2023, will come down to the South and that will be morally the right and turn of his southeast zone (Igbo).
“Coming down to the South in 2023, and since the SW (OBJ) and SS (GEJ) have had it, it is the turn of the Southeast zone.
“This is the position of SEFORP2023 and why we debuted since February 2019, advocating to Nigeria, Nigerians and particularly to the likes of Dr Orji Uzor Kalu of the Southeast (Igbo), political parties and the powers that be to do the needful.
“What is good for the goose is also good for the gander. The Southeast zone are not spectators in this country.
“Come 2023, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, must come from the Southeast zone(Igbo). This is equitable, justifiable and in fairness.