A powerful and highly influential chieftain in the South-East caucus of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Onyekachi Iheme, has berated the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi over comment credited to him stating that nobody from the South-East region can succeed President Muhammadu Buhari after the expiration of his tenure in 2023. The APC leader further revealed that the ruling party must zoned the presidency to the South-East in other to maintain equity and national cohesion.
It will be recalled that the Amaechi had insisted that the South-East geo-political zone has no chance whatsoever to produce the president in 2023 simply because the region vehemently refused to vote for President Muhammadu Buhari during the 2019 presidential election.
The APC Chieftain in his reaction to Amaechi’s statement in an exclusive interview with the press disclosed that the South East geo-political zone is an important region in the country and the President got about 25 per cent votes for President Buhari during the just concluded presidential poll.
His statements reads below.
“It is not true to say, that Ndigbo did not vote or support APC. Because, if you look at the performances of the party in the last 2019 election, you can bear me witness that President Buhari, like never before, polled the required 25 per cent votes needed in all the five eastern states put together. And he got more votes in Abia and Imo States.
“The Ndigbo, like every other tribe in this country who believed in constitutional democracy and who are also members of the governing party (APC), are entitled and have every rights to be considered for the Presidency of this country come 2023. From all indications, Igbo man can no longer stand out. We are integral part of Nigeria. We are integral stakeholders in APC. We have asked for the position of Deputy Senate President. We have asked for the speaker of the Federal House of Representatives.
“So, on what ground, the former River Governor standing on, to say Ndigbo have no chances of producing President in 2023 presidential election. I think, Amaechi is speaking for himself and it is unfortunately. APC, is a party that respect agreement. The primary reason we rally-rounded President, Buhari, was because, we know that equity and justice have been the bedrock of the zoning arrangement that the APC had relying on.
“Buhari is completing his eight years in office by 2023, and naturally, it is expected that the presidential seat of Nigeria should be rotated, go the South east. Because, the vice President is from South West. And the South West had also produced the leader of the party. The South South had equally produced the national chairman of APC. There is nothing else for the Igbo man, other than to be allowed and to be zoned the Presidential ticket to Igbo man in 2023.”
The controversial statement made by the minister partly reads below
“I don’t know what they will do now for voting against the APC,” he said.
“For refusing to support the APC, they cannot come to the table to demand the presidency slot.
“For people like us in the APC, if the Igbo had come and voted Buhari, they would boldly tell Mr President and the National Chairman of the party that presidency should go the Southeast since the South-south; South-west and North-west have produced president. What argument would the Southeast come up with now to convince anybody that they deserve the slot for 2023 president?”
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