The senator representing Imo West Senatorial District, Rochas Okorocha, has said it is only fair that the All Progressives Congress (APC) zones its presidential ticket to the South-east ahead of the 2023 general elections.
He said though unwritten, there is an agreement in the party to rotate the position among different regions and the South-east appears to be next in line.
The lawmaker said this at a parley with journalists at the secretariat of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Abuja on Monday.
The senator was asked to react to comments about the Igbos being marginalised in Nigeria and in governance generally.
“It is true, Igbos are being marginalised but that’s not what they should be talking about. We should be asking for opportunities, level playing ground,” he replied.
“The argument Igbos should make … they should present this in a lighter note. The South-west, the North and South-south have governed Nigeria and we have seen how the country is. Let’s try an Igbo person. It’s a softer way to make the argument.
“There is no justification for the APC not to zone it to the South-east. I think it is just fair and understanding that the power should go to the South. I agree with the southern governors; they are absolutely right. That will bring peace because if you decide you want to zone it back to the north, that will polarise the party. It will begin to sound like it is a northern peoples party.”
This statement comes barely a week after his counterpart from Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Adamu, described zoning as unconstitutional and suggested that the next presidential candidate in the party be picked based on merit.
When asked if he will run for the office of the president in 2023, Mr Okorocha, a three-time presidential aspirant, said he does not have a presidential ambition but has a vision for a united Nigeria.
Mr Okorocha, who is also a former governor of Imo State, said the state government still owes him money, up to N8 billion.
The lawmaker who boasted about his free education initiative in the state during his tenure, disclosed that he never accepted his security votes.
“As governor, I sacrificed my security votes. Imo State Government still owes me. If I’m to go by my 250 million…, I have 8 billion now in Imo State. I was Rochas before becoming a governor.
“The projects I’ve done in Imo State, nobody can say he beats my record in the history of the state. I challenge anyone with a contrary view, I’ll resign from politics if you do. The people who speak against me, in the next 20 years, cannot do what I have done.
“Since I left Imo State Government, no single project has been built by my successors, except maintaining what I already built. Even the…chamber that was commissioned by Buhari, I built it,” he said.
With regards to the achievements of the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, he urged Nigerians to “itemise and compare the achievements of past presidents with this president.”
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