By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA- Reactions have continued to trail Thursday’s directive to the South-West by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola urging them to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2019 re-election bid to pave way for the return of the Presidency to the zone in 2023.
Speaking exclusively with Saturday Vanguard yesterday, former governor of Anambra state, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife bemoaned the Minister’s comment, noting that the South-East zone ought to supported by Nigerians to produce the President in 2023.
According to him, “No geo-political zone deserves the Presidency of this country in 2023 than the South-East. We have supported successive administrations since the return to democracy in 1999 and as one of the major blocs of in our country; it is only apt that the South East produce the President in 2023.
“But of vital importance is the survival of the Nigerian state. This country must not die because it has a lot to offer Africa and the world still. However, there is a place for equity, fairness and justice and we do hope that in the spirit of our craving for unity and togetherness, the Igbo will have one of their own as President of this country in 2023.”
The former governor added that the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, a party with strong base in Igbo land, zoned its 2019 Presidency to the north, stressing that this was done with the understanding that in 2023, it will join other political parties to offer its platform to the South East for the Presidency.
Collaborating this position, National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan said Fashola’s statement has vindicated the party that neither Buhari nor the APC is serious about Igbo quest for Presidency.
He said: “When we said they were not serious about supporting the South-East for the Presidency, we were called all sort of names. Our brothers and sisters in the South East zone, with this charge by Fashola now know they will be supporting a wrong cause if they throw their weight behind President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019. They should not allow themselves to be used and dumped because the ruling party has no agenda or plan for them. The earlier they realized this, the better.”
On his part, human rights activist and constitutional lawyer, Barrister Mike Ozekhome chided the former Lagos state governor, saying he lacks the capacity to speak for the South West.
“Fashola cannot speak for the Yoruba race where you have the big Afenifere. The Igbo people are in the true spirit of equity, egalitarianism and good conscience entitled, to the next Presidency of Nigeria,” he said.
Reactions have continued to trail Thursday’s directive to the South-West by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola urging them to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2019 re-election bid to pave way for the return of the Presidency to the zone in 2023.