2023: Orji Kalu ‘Shocked’ Over Tinubu, Wike’s Declarations For Presidency

The Senate chief whip, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, Tuesday, described the declaration of Senator Ahmed Tinubu and Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, among other presidential aspirants who are not from the Southeast as ’embarrasing’.

Kalu, in a statement, said he was interested in running for the presidency in 2023, but would only declare when other regions of the country decide that it is the turn of the South East to produce president of Nigeria for the sake of equity and justice.

According to the former governor of Abia State, “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 (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), 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.”

He said thee reality of Nigeria is that the North has advantage 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. The amount of money being spent by these aspirants is alarming and they have forgotten that money alone cannot buy the presidency.

“It has become a joke to an ordinary Nigerian who hears southern commentators and aspirants rooting for a southern president on the premise of fairness, equity and justice.

“How can you talk about these morals when you are not even fair to your own brothers?”

He said the entire South should be pushing for a president of South East extraction, stressing that anything less would be “hypocritical, unjustifiable and inordinate.”

Orji said the South West and the South South have successfully completed their tenures as president and vice president and urged them to support their brothers from the South East.

“This country belongs to all of us, and the unity of the country should be paramount. If not for selfishness and greed, how can you say that where a president comes from does not matter simply because you don’t want to support a president of Nigeria from the South East, but turn around to clamor for a power shift to the South?

“How do we explain this to the younger generation? Let the wise and courageous stay firm on their convictions and not swing on the two sides of the Atlantic.

“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.”

He commended 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’.

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