Senate Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu has asked the two major political parties, the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and the main opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, to zone their 2023 presidential ticket to south east geopolitical zone and see the Igbos turn around the economy of the country.
He said that in the case of the south east, power must be given and not taken, describing the age-long political maxim that political power is taken and not given as “lamba”.
According to him, such was the case at the birth of this 4th republic in 1999 when power was given to the south west.
Kalu also said he was so much in the race to become the next president of Nigeria, dispelling speculations that he had dropped his ambition.
Kalu, who was also a governor of Abia State said that he was greatly misunderstood in the statement he issued on Tuesday over the decision to pursue his presidential ambition if the two major political parties zone their tickets to the south east zone.
In a statement he made available to Vanguard on Wednesday, Kalu said: “Iam surprised that a statement as unambiguous and clearly comprehensible as mine was still misunderstood yesterday.
“In the least clear term, I had requested that other regions should support the South East to be president, especially our own brothers from the South. I added that I will run for president if the party zones the ticket to the South East.
“Some people continue to throw this lamba that “power is not given but taken.” In reality, for a Southerner to become president of Nigeria, power is given and not taken. Power was given to the South West in 1999. Power was given to the South South in 2011. In 2015, the North did not give power to the South and that was why a sitting president lost. Unless for mischievous and selfish reasons against the South East, no one can comfortably deny these facts.
“As long as the Presidency of Nigerian is concerned, any pointer to equity and fairness is South East and North East, otherwise, and as I strongly advocated, Buhari’s kinsmen, including his wife is free to run for the office of the president in 2023. It is very ungodly and immoral for any Southerner to talk about fairness and equity, but sees no fairness in working hard to cease the third meat that belongs to their remaining brother.
“None of the other aspirants is more Nigerian than me. Aside the capacity and what it takes to govern a country as diverse as Nigeria, I remain the most detribalized living Nigeria today and these are verifiable facts.
“It is a false claim and an old propaganda that the South East is not united in this contest. In this pursuit for presidency, there is nothing the South East is doing that is different from what others are doing. Let the two major political parties zone their tickets to the South East and see the miracle that will happen to Nigeria.
“And for clarification purpose, I am still in the presidential race. My statement yesterday did not state that I withdrew from the race.
“Here is part of the statement issued on Tuesday : “It is my desire and intention to run for the Presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I am committed to this pursuit, but I can’t make an official declaration to this regard without the full support of other regions.
“I have been in the frontline of the call that the two major political parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should zone their presidential tickets to the South East as they did for the South West in 1999. In the absence of this zoning, I shall return to the senate and stay away from the presidential contest.”