The chief whip of the Senate, Chief Orji Uzor-Kalu, has stated that he would stay away from the 2023 presidential contest if the All Progressive Congress fails to zone her presidential ticket to the South-East geo-political zone.
He said in the absence of such zoning, he would seek re-election to the Senate to continue representing the Abia North Senatorial zone in the 10th Senate.
Kalu, who made this public in a statement on Tuesday titled ‘The Fairness I Know’ insisted that there is no fairness in zoning the APC presidential ticket to Southern Nigeria and not South East, which has never produced the president.
The statement read, “It is my desire and intention to run for the Presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I am committed to this pursuit, but I can’t make an official declaration to this regard without the full support of other regions.
“Everywhere in the world, politics is situational and that of Nigeria is exceptionally situational.
“The situation in Nigeria is that without the support of other regions, it would amount to a shadow chase for a South Easterner to be President. This is the reason I have been in the frontline of the call that the two major political parties, the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party should zone their presidential tickets to the South East as they did for the South West in 1999.
“In the absence of this zoning, I shall return to the Senate and stay away from the presidential contest. The reality is that the North is more advantageous to win elections in this democratic setting.
“I am even shocked with the number of aspirants coming from the South West and the South South. It is embarrassing that these aspirants (APC and PDP) have no single respect and concern for the South East. I had thought they would think about the South East; I thought they would support us.”
He added, “The two regions that are yet to produce a President are South East and North East. If this means anything to Nigerians, the APC and PDP should be fair enough to prioritize these regions. If power should come to the South and not the South East or North and not the North East, the essence for which the six geopolitical zones were created is long dead .
“To Pa Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Edwin Clark, Deji Adeyanju and a host of others who have stood firm in their support for their brothers in the South East, posterity will be kind to you”.