Mon, 17 Jun 2024


2023 Election: Afenifere, PANDEV, GNC, others unite for South East Presidency as Adebanjo knocks Jonathan
By: News Editor
Mon, 25 Apr 2022   ||   Nigeria,

The agitation for all the five geopolitical zones in the country to unite and cede the 2023 Presidency to the South East geopolitical zone received overwhelming support as Afenifere, the Yoruba Socio-cultural group, leaders of PANDEV and the Middle Belt Forum and others gathered in Federal Capital Territory, Abuja .

The event was the Greater Nigeria Conference (GNC), held on Monday at International Conference Centre Abuja by Igbo tink tank, Nzuko Umunna.

In one voice the socio-cultural and socio-Political groups agreed it was time for a South Easterner to become President of Nigeria in the interest of peace, Unity and inclusivness, insiting that the two of the tripod on which the country was founded have had their shot at Nigeria’s Presidency.

Addressing the crowd that included presidential aspirants from other South East zone, Elderstatesman, Chief Edwin Clark said it was right and proper for Nigeria to a Southeastner to lead Nigeria considering that other zones have had their turns.

Chief Clark who maintained that all Nigerians have right over Nigeria, maintained that all.citizens must endeavor to live the motto of Nigeria.

“The Motto of Nigeria is “Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress” Where is the ‘Unity’ I ask, where is the “Faith” in our beloved Country Nigeria, where is the Peace, and are we really progressing? Let us not deceive ourselves. | am a ‘strong advocate and believer in the Motto of our dear Country, and that is why my doors are open to all But are we really working towards the attainment of this Motto? You cannot marginalize and oppress a people, and expect them Not to speak out”, he declared.

To ensure equity ,the groups enjioned all the political parties to zone their Presidential tickets to the South East, noting that the zone is not lacking in qualified, patriotic and commited leaders steer the country out of its present state..

Afenifere leader, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, lambasted former President Goodluck Jonathan, for mulling the idea of contesting the presidency during next year’s election.

Adebanjo stated that the truth was that the North did not want to leave power in 2023.

He said, “I only like to point to the fact that they are just deceiving you. All that you are hearing that they (the North) are supporting the South-West is an element of deceit to deprive you to be able to rule you. They don’t like anybody!

“I told Bola Tinubu himself, not in the paper, face-to-face. You believe this man (Buhari) will make you President? He said ‘yes’. I said he wanted to make you President, he asked (Yemi) Osinbajo to contest? He asked (Kayode) Fayemi to contest, he asked Ibikunle (Amosun to contest? All in the West, why? He wanted to divide the West first.

“The unfortunate thing is that President Goodluck Jonathan allowed himself to be disgraced by mentioning the fact that, ‘I’m considering whether to be President’; for what? Who are you consulting?”

The nonagenarian wondered why political leaders from the North were now propounding a lot of theories when they realized it was the turn of the South-East to produce the President in 2023.

“Now that it is the turn of the South-East, they are propounding a new theory, it must be based on merit and all that. If it is the question of merit, who in the North? All of them…if it has been based on merit till today, till kingdom comes, the East alone will produce the President”, he said.

The Afenifere leader said that all the talks that the aspirants from the South must go and lobby, campaign and sell themselves was all rigmarole, saying the North knows the truth.

Adebanjo said that the yearning to see the realization of South East Presidency at 94 years has kept him alive till date, stressing his belief that the South East people are more positioned and favoured to produce the next President after President Muhammadu Buhari.

His position was echoed by Dr Pogu Bitrus ,leader of the middle belt forum who also spoke in favour of South East Presidency.

Given opportunity to share their vision at the conference, former governor of Anambra State and one of the prominent presidential candidate in the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) Mr Peter Obi said his Presidency would create wealth and engage idle hands that multiply every day across , insiting that the insecurity in the country was largely as a result of the unemployment.

In his case former governor and Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District, Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha said other Geo-political zones would be more comfortable to entrust power to him. He also stated that he would create job if elected as President.

Other Presidential aspirants that spoke at the event were: former Senate President, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, governor of Imo State, Dave Umahi, Minister of Labour and Productivity, Senator Chris Ngige, Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, former governor of Abia State and Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, Sam Ohuabunwa, Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba and Kingsley Moghalu among others.

In the communique issued in Abuja after the Conference and signed by Dr Okwy Nwodo and Lolo Golda Obi Chairman and Secretary respectively, the group pointed out that “The purpose of the Conference was for leaders of the South East and friends of the South East to come together and make the case for all political parties in Nigeria to zone their Presidential tickets only to candidates from the South East .

The communique states :

“GNC reaffirms its commitment to the unity of Nigeria, as embodied in the theme of the Conference: “Together we can.”

GNC resolves that zoning does matter, as other regions have benefited from zoning.

GNC recognises that zoning is legal, as the Federal Character Principle is enshrined in the Constitution.

“The GNC resolved that the ambitions of all Presidential aspirants of South East extraction will be supported, regardless of party.

“The GNC resolved that for equity, fairness and inclusion, it is right that all political parties should zone the Presidency to the South East.

GNC appreciates that its support to other geopolitical zones in their quest for the Presidency of Nigeria is being reciprocated in the current quest for a President of South East extraction.

GNC resolves that a president from the South East will usher in unity, peace and progress in Nigeria and, being grounded on justice, equity and fair play, will help to douse all manners of agitation in the Nigerian state.

“That citizens of the South East , across all parties will work in unity to achieve the objective of a President from the South East in 2023

“The people of the South East encourages all South Easterners to work in unity and togetherness to promote these resolutions”.


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