A South East Advocacy group, South East for President 2023 (SEFOR2023) on Tuesday, expressed disappointment with the Chief Whip of the Nigerian Senate, and former Governor of Abia State, over his comment that there is no zoning in All Progressives Congress, describing his comment as ignorant of current realities.
According to a statement by the group’s National Coordinator, Rev. Okechukwu Obioha, Kalu’s current position in the senate is a product of zoning.
The statement partly states, “The attention of the Southeast for President 2023(aka SEFORP2023) Movement, has been drawn to a statement credited to His Excellency, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, the Majority Chief Whip of the Senate, after 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.
“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 to have said 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.
Obioha added that, “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.
“Come 2023, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, must come from the Southeast zone(Igbo). This is equitable, justifiable and in fairness.”