The South East Zone of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Sunday said it was not opposed to President Goodluck Jonathan running for presidency in 2015, saying he has the constitutional right to do so.
The party was reacting to the endorsement of President Jonathan as the Igbo candidate by some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) South-East political leaders under the umbrella of Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) rally in Awka Anambra State on Saturday.
Notable among the PDP Igbo political leaders at the rally who joined in asking the President to contest include Chairman of the South-East Governors Forum, Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State; Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu; Josephine Anenih, who represented Nigerian women in the zone; billionaire businessman, Arthur Eze; former Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha who spoke on behalf of the South-East caucus in the National Assembly.
But reacting to the rally through a statement by its spokesman, Osita Okechukwu, the APC South East said while it was not opposed to the inalienable and constitutional right of Jonathan to contest, it was “however opposed to the scant strategy adopted by “Ndigbo-Chop-Sand-Band” of politicians, who crave to put all our eggs in one basket, foreclose the chances of president of Igbo extraction and subject the hard working and enterprising Igbos to perpetual beggarly status.
“They overstretch the stereo-type of Ndigbo Chopping-Sand since after the Civil War, therefore Jonathan’s victory will compel our contemporaries, the Yorubas and the Hausas to join in Chopping Sand,” Mr. Okechukwu said.
The statement reads further: “Ndigbo-Chop-Sand-Band drummers are not interested in whether President Jonathan performed or not, whether he honoured the promises he made to Ndigbo during the 2011 electioneering campaign or whether his presidential slot impedes on the chances of our producing a president of Igbo extraction in the nearest future.’
“Otherwise, how come that up till date there is no Environmental Impact Assessment, no private sector counterpart funding, only N30b Sure-P-Fund taxed from the people and most importantly, why is the second Niger Bridge not captured in the federal budget, since according to the drummers Jonathan so loves Ndigbo?
“The Chop-Sand-Band thinks that Ndigbo’s memory is so short to forget that it was His Royal Majesty, the Obi of Onitsha, Agbogidi, Igwe Alfred Nnaemaka Achebe, who in February this year, woke our dear president from deep slumber over the promise he made on the 2nd Niger Bridge; upon which fire service approach of Public, Private Partnership was enacted.
“Or is it not amusing that Professor Chinedu Nebo, Minister of Power, one of the drummers, who talked of Grand Expectation Journey (GEJ), couldn’t tell Ndigbo why the coal project has not taken off and what happened to N927m, N1.7b and N1.1b budgeted for the study survey of Enugu and Gombe Coal in 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively? The revamping of coal was one of our grand expectation journey, premised on the promise made by Jonathan at South East PDP Zonal rally during the 2011 electioneering campaign, yet he so loves Ndigbo!
“In sum, our fear is that the core ingredient of election, which is a referendum on the performance of the incumbent may not prevail, as the Chop-Sand-Band are constructing a scenario where President Jonathan, like in 2011, would be allocated millions of votes in the South East, without commensurate performance.”