AS the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and party leaders brainstorm to pick a running mate, some top politicians from the South-East have emerged as front runners for the slot.
The PDP new mantra: “To save and Rescue Nigeria” is said to be resonating among Nigerians ahead of the 2023 general elections.
In the battle to save and restore dignity of Nigerians, the case of the South-East geopolitical zone in 2023, PDP leaders from the zone, said is a critical issue that must be handled with caution.
At issue is what they called political inclusiveness or correctness or balancing, they said makes the quest of the South-East geopolitical political zone for the presidency in 2023 a legitimate demand.
“But by a twist of events, neither the PDP nor the APC gave the South-East opportunity to produce the president in 2023. Having been excluded from the presidential race so far, the zone has been inadvertently injured politically. The fall back position that will therefore be fair is to get the vice presidential ticket to the South-East zone,” they said.
Also, the South-South Zone also has a claim to the position of vice president in 2023 being the zone that is believed to be the pillar of PDP at least since 2015 when the party lost the centre. Presidential contender Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and Senator Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State are said to be in contention for the number two position. The South-South is an established home for the PDP.
However, for the politics of inclusiveness, they said it is imperative to give the vice presidential slot to the South-East Zone.
“The PDP must take critical note of the political imbalance against the South-East Zone and do the needful to bring them on board. Anything to the contrary will further give credence to assertion that Nigeria hates the Igbo.
“Besides, it’s only the North-East and South-East that is yet to have a shot at the presidency since 1999. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo from South-West was president from 1999 to 2007; Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar ‘Adua from 2007 to 2010, Goodluck Jonathan (South-South) from 2010 to 2015. General Muhammadu Buhari of the APC from North-West started from 2015 and will complete his tenure in 2023. The South-East zone remains the ‘weeping child of the Nigeria political arithmetic.”
In the south East Zone, former Governor of Enugu State and current Senator representing Enugu East Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani, is among the top contenders for Atiku Abubakar’s running mate. Nnamani, who governed Enugu State for eight years has garnered cognate experience as a ranking parliamentarian, and has twin advantage of executive and legislative experiences.
Others from the South-East being mentioned as likely running mate to Atiku are fFormer Senate President Anyim Pius Anyim, and former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, who were presiding officers in the National Assembly and have legislative experiences. Anyim was a Senator for four years and later served as Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF.
Senator Nnamani as a governor and senator has demonstrated strong will and capacity to deliver. His Ebeano political family in Enugu is the dominant force that determines the leadership recruitment into public offices since 1999.
His legacy projects include: the Nigeria Law school, Enugu, permanent site of Enugu state University of Science and Technology (ESUT), state Judiciary headquarter, the international conference centre, as well as numerous housing estates. He opened rural and urban roads and elevated human capital development.
Senator Nnamani, a medical ddctor, trained in Nigeria and United States has international experiences that would be an added advantage in the quest to save and rescue Nigeria.