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PDP’ll pay dearly if it fails to zone 2023 presidency to S’East –Nwifuru




Hon. Francis Nwifuru is the Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly. In this interview, he speaks on the rumoured plan by the governor of the state, Dave Umahi and members of the Assembly to dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC) as well as the 2023 presidency. UCHENNA INYA reports


There have been agitations for a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction in 2023. What is your take on that?


The unity of our beloved country, Nigeria, has always been hinged on the principles of equity, justice and fairness. It is on such conventional wisdom that the country has striven to grow and develop equally across all the geopolitical zones.


In furtherance of the above principles, we, the honourable members of the Sixth Ebonyi State House of Assembly, wish to draw the attention of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to the rightful yearning of our industrious and peace-loving people of the South-East Nigeria that the position of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria come 2023, be zoned to the South-East.


Since the inception of the present democratic dispensation, the zone has paid its dues, having worked assiduously and massively voted for all the presidential candidates of our great party, when the people of the South-West in the year 1999 and 2003; the people of North-West in 2007; the people of South-South in 2011 and 2015; the people of the North- East in 2019, all contested for the presidency.


It is on record that since the inception of democracy in this country, from 1999 till date, the five states of the South-East have always delivered the presidential candidates of our great party 100 per cent. So, it is only appropriate in the spirit of democracy, equity, justice and fairness that the position of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria come 2023 be zoned to the South-East.


Do you think the zone has qualified persons for the country’s number one position?


The South-East has presidential personalities, people who are globally renowned, reliable, acceptable, tested and trusted for the position; having discharged their duties efficiently and effectively in the positions held before now.


Persons like PDP vice presidential candidate in the 2019 elections and former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi; former Senate President and ex-Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim; former three-time Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu; former governor of Abia State, Senator Theodore Orji; ex-governor of Imo State, Chief Achike Udenwa and a host of others.


So, we have qualified people, who are very much available for this position. We did not mention our governors not because they are not qualified but because these highly qualified persons are holding positions currently and there are other eminent qualified Igbo leaders as well, who are trusted, competent, capable and reliable.


That tells you that we are not asking for what we don’t have. So, our party should not turn this request down.



What if your party, PDP, refused to zone its 2023 presidential ticket to The South-East?



On this note, we are giving our great party, PDP, a seven-day ultimatum to convoke the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party and zone the position of presidency to the South-East, especially as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has officially announced the date of the presidential election.


In no minimal measure, this will further develop and unite our dear country. Equally, the party should not contemplate to remove the National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secundus, as it is customary that the South, from where the national chairman comes from produces the presidential candidate of the party.