Oreva Okolor Ben
Former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, has charged candidates from the South East, South-South, and South West to shelve ambitions of contesting for presidency in 2023 in line with true zoning arrangements.
According to him, the tenure of the North for the seat is yet to be completed.
Atiku represented by the Chairman, Technical Committee, Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, stated this on Thursday when he paid a consultative visit to Ebonyi Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
According to him, the South has had a presidential position for 16 years from 1999 and 2007 and 2009 and 2015, adding that naturally, the North should produce the next president of the country in 2023 in line with the rotational principle in the country.
However, he emphasised that those clamouring for the southern presidency were doing so for their selfish interests and not for the interest of the south.
“The south had the presidency from 1999-2007 and again from 2009-2015. The tenure of the North is not yet expired, once it is expired, the south will produce the President. All those clamouring for the Presidency to come to the south in 2023 are not doing so for the interest of the region but their own benefit.
“And I can tell you free, even the APC itself will not bring it to the south-east. The clamour for it is for the benefit of the South West, not for the benefit of the South East. If we are interested in power shifting to the south-east then we have to lay the proper foundation. Time and care are required,” he said.
Dokpesi, also urged Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State to return the PDP secretariat with immediate effect, and also release the State Publicity Secretary of PDP, Chika Nwoba Chika, who was remanded for alleged fake news and cybercrime in the state.
“I remember vividly when I came here on two, three occasions. The first one was when I was contesting for chairman of the party. The governor met me in Abuja after I have visited here to plead with me to step down from the chairmanship race for the overall interest of the party and in the overall interest of the federal government. Ebonyi citizens love the federal republic of Nigeria.
“This same man did not have sufficient patience when it comes to his ambition of becoming the President. Brutally, he took over the secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party; that is a heinous act. It is the height of brutality and wickedness. And I call on him to at this point to return the Secretariat to the PDP.
“Let me also call on him to immediately release the PDP officer whom he has taken to court with the trump of charges. People have a right to different opinions and must not be incriminated and dealt with in such a heinous manner.
“I want to call on all members of the Peoples Democratic Party in this place to remain resilient, I believe very shortly you will be hearing some good news; this maltreatment can not be sustained,” he stated.