2023: Igbo elders allege APC, PDP conspiracy to deny Southeast presidency
Ezeife

The Igbo Elders Consultative Forum (IECF) has alleged that there is a conspiracy within the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to thwart power rotation to the south despite the provision of zoning in their constitutions.

The forum, which asked the leadership of the parties to resist the move, warned Southeast politicians to desist from working against the zone’s presidential bid or accepting to be running mates to any presidential candidate from another geopolitical zone.

It added that they would hesitate to sanction and place a curse on such politicians.

The forum led by former Anambra State governor, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezelfe, at a press conference in Abuja, called on the APC and PDP to zone their presidential tickets to the South East, adding that it would be unfair to deny the region the slot in 2023.

“We hear of a conspiracy to negate the constitutional provisions of the party, especially the PDP as zoning and rotation in the constitution. We have been zoning and rotating. Now that it is the turn of the South East all kinds of things are being said,” Ezeife said.

“We don’t want to leave this country by choice. But one thing we reject totally is being slaves. We refuse being slaves. Those who are educated know that Igbo slaves drowned themselves in a river just so they won’t continue to be slaves. If the 2023 presidency eludes us, we will take it that the rest of Nigeria has denied us citizenship rights in Nigeria. That leaves us no choice but to look for ways to survive outside Nigeria.”

The secretary of the forum, Prof Charles Nwekeaku, said they support the demand of the Southern Governors Forum, the Southern and Middle Belt Forum, the Afenifere, the Niger Delta Forum, Ohanaeze WorldWide among other credible stakeholders and organizations that all political parties in the country should zone the 2023 presidency to the South, and possibly micro-zone it to the South East for the sake of justice, equity and fairness.

“We commend Chief Edwin K Clark, leader of the Southern/Middle Belt Forum and PANDEF, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Leader of Afeefere. Dr Butrus Porgu, leader of the Middle Belt Forum, and other prominent and patriotic Nigerians, who have spoken the truth and publicly demanded that all political parties in the country should zone the 2023 presidency to the South East not just for the sake of justice, equity and fairness, but also to permanently heal the wound of the civil war that has grossly marginalized the lebos in the country’s scheme of affairs;

“It is important to note that apart from Section 14 (3) of the 1999 Constitution, which provides for the principles of Federal Character and quota system in whatever the government and its agencies do in order to give every part of the country a sense of belonging, the constitutions of major political parties in the country, including the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and All Progressives Congress, APC, provide for zoning system.”

He added that it was in keeping with this zoning principle that Senator Abdulahi Adamu and Senator lyorchia Ayu emerged as the national chairman of the APC and the PDP, respectively.

He added that they are totally against the idea of another Northerner succeeding Buhari “because it is a direct invitation for the aggravation of crises, conflicts, separatist demands by various sections of the country, among other unimaginable violence.”

Addressing Southeast politicians who they say are sabotaging the agitation for presidency to come to the region, the forum said, “For the avoidance of doubt, the Igbo Elders Consultative Forum will not only pursue to a logical conclusion the sanctions of these shameless renegades and booth leakers, who accept to be running mates to any presidential candidate not from the South as well as those who are working hard to sabotage our efforts masquerading as coordinators and promoters of presidential aspirants outside the South East zone, but also curse them and their families publicly,” he said

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