Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma, has asked both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to zone their presidential tickets to the Southeast in the interest of equity and justice.
Uzodimma noted that the country took a similar step in 1999 to assuage the Southwest, which was aggrieved over the June 12, 1993 annulled presidential poll won by late Chief MKO Abiola.
He said the Southeast is in a similar state now and many Nigerians know.
The Imo governor spoke to some journalists in Lagos on Monday a day after receiving The Sun Newspapers 2021 Governor of the year award.
“We practise partisan democracy in Nigeria, and you get to power through political parties. As of now no party has selected its presidential candidate. What is utmost in the mind of every political party is to win election. No party will throw the opportunity away. The South-East needs the presidency but we can’t do it alone. We need the support of other zones,” he said when asked his take on the clamour for zoning of the presidency to the Southeast in 2023.
“In 1999, the two political parties, the PDP, and All Peoples Party/Alliance for Democracy APP/AD through internal mechanism chose their candidates from the South-West so that head or tail the winner of the presidential election would come from the South-West. It was done to assuage the zone.
“The 1999 situation is repeating itself and many Nigerians are in support of the presidency going to the South-East. Let the two major political parties -APC and PDP pick their candidates from the South-East so that justice will be seen to have been done.”
Speaking on the prevailing insecurity in Southeast, the promised to name sponsors in two weeks time.
Asked why he did not name sponsors of killings in the state, the governor said at a stakeholders meeting, recently, security agencies asked him not to do so because they were still investigating the killings.
“I contacted the security agencies two weeks ago, they asked for two weeks more. I hope in two weeks time, those responsible will be revealed to Nigerians. The security agencies asked for more time to do their investigation,” he disclosed.
Speaking on the alleged disunity among five governors of the Southeast, Uzodimma said: “The situation in the South-East is not different from other zones. We are working. We are united and working together to ensure security. Security issues are not discussed in the open. It is not true that we are not talking to ourselves.”
On last week’s Supreme Court judgement, which gave 17 disputed oil wells to Rivers State, Governor Uzodimma said he was yet to get the details of the judgement.
“We have not seen details of the judgement. It is too early to celebrate. I want to wait till I see the details. Some of the oil wells are in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State. Does it mean Oguta is now in Rivers State? I have a lot of respect for the Supreme Court. Until I see the details of the judgement, if there are areas that are not clear I will approach the court for interpretation,” he said.