The Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Kalu, has taken a swipe at presidential aspirants from the South-west and South-south.
The aspirants, he said, have no respect for the South-east and do not regard equity and fairness in their play of politics. And it is for this reason, that he will not run for presidency.
He said this in a statement titled “2023 Presidency: The Fairness I Know.”
The aspirants he called out cut across all political parties.
Some of these aspirants are Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, APC chieftain, Bola Tinubu and publisher, Dele Momodu and former Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose.
From the South-south are Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
He accused them of being unfair while pretending to talk about morals.
The lawmaker has always indicated interest to run for the office of the president in the 2023 general election.
He, however, never made an official declaration because he wanted his party, APC, to zone the ticket to the South- east.
He is one of many politicians that have called on political parties (both APC and PDP) to intentionally produce a South- eastern president in the coming poll as they did for the South-west in 1999.
Southern leaders of the main opposition party, PDP, have also made similar calls in recent weeks while they urge the party to zone the ticket to the region as well.
Mr Kalu, a former governor of Abia State, said despite his desire and intention to run for president, he cannot make an official declaration in this regard without the full support of other regions.
For this reason, he said, he “shall return to the Senate and stay away from the presidential contest.”
He also noted that the North is more advantageous to win elections in this democratic setting.
“I am even shocked with the number of aspirants coming from the South West and the South South . It is embarrassing that these aspirants (APC and PDP) have no single respect and concern for the South East.
“I had thought they would think about the South East; I thought they would support us. The amount of money being spent by these aspirants is alarming and they have forgotten that money alone cannot buy the presidency.”
He said the two regions that are yet to produce a president are the South-East and the North-East.
Fairness, equity now a joke
Talks of fairness, equity and justice now sound like a joke because if there is anything like “fairness”, “equity” and “justice”, it should be the entire South pushing for a president of South-east extraction, he said.
“If there is Anything less than that is “hypocritical”, “unjustifiable” and “inordinate”. Some ‘persons’ are even claiming God’s anointed choice in 2023 . Unfortunately, it is not all prayers that God answers; at least not inordinate ones.”
“The South west and the South south have successfully completed their tenures as ‘President and Vice President’ and they should have the courage to support their brothers from the South east, Mr Kalu argued.
“If the next president after President Muhammadu Buhari does not come from the South east , there would be nothing unfair and unjust if he/she comes from Daura.”
The lawmaker also called out Nigerians who believe that where a president comes from does not matter.
This school of thought, he said, is borne out of selfishness and greed.
“Simply because you don’t want to support a president of Nigeria from the South east, but turn around to clamour for a power shift to the South? How do we explain this to the younger generation? Let the wise and courageous stay firm on their convictions and not swing on the two sides of the Atlantic.”
“If you are convinced that where a president comes from does not matter, let Nigerians not hear you clamour for power shift. But if you have conscience and believe in equality, then you should support the South East region that is yet to produce a president. That is what I consider as fairness, he challenged his colleagues.”
He, therefore, asked the APC and PDP to be fair enough to prioritise e these regions because if power should come to the South and not the South-east or North and not the North-east, the essence for which the six geopolitical zones were created is long dead., therefore, the PDP nor the APC has zoned the presidential ticket despite calls that it be zoned to the South-east.
Although the Gov Samuel Ortom-led zoning committee in the PDP has made recommendations to the party, the latter is yet to formally announce its decision.