The Senate Chief Whip, Sen. Orji Kalu, claims that the North East remains the sole viable option for the South East presidency.
In a statement released on Sunday in Abuja, Kalu restated his support for the North East in the absence of political parties allocating the presidency to the South East.
Kalu claimed that no Igbo guy loves the Igbo people more than he does
Chief Mbazuluike Amechi, a leading nationalist, has chastised Kalu for presumably abandoning his bid for the South East president in favor of Senate President Ahmed Lawan.
According to news reports, Kalu, who has been advocating for a South East presidency in 2023, announced his personal interest in the position in January.
However, in a recent statement, the former governor of Abia said he decided to withdraw from the race since there was “no zoning in APC’.
“I have known Chief Mbazuluike Amaechi for the past 30 years and I have great respect for him.
“However, I totally disagree with him and his opinion about my support for the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan.
“If we should stick to every of the expectations enumerated in the statement he allegedly signed, we would be making similar mistakes to what we made in the past.
“There is no Igbo man that loves Igbo people more than I do,’’ Kalu said.
Describing himself as a detribalised Nigerian, Kalu added that he remained a very realistic and optimistic Igbo man.
According to the former governor of Abia, people easily forgot the too many prices I have paid in defence of Ndigbo.
“Good politicians win elections before the elections take place and I genuinely want the South East to win.
“I expected that the president, after President Buhari, will emerge from the South East.
“That was why I was constantly urging all the political parties to be fair to every region of this country.
“The fairness which I talked about was about the South East and the North East, the two zones that are yet to produce the President of Nigeria.
“Unless the two parties zone their tickets to the South East, there is no fairness. I believe the zoning was the best means a South Easterner could become president,’’ Kalu said.
According to him, the South East supported the South West in 1999 and also supported the South South in 2011 and 2015.
“Former President Olusegun Obasanjo became President in 1999 because the South East and the South South supported the South West.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan became president in 2011 because the South East and the South West supported the South South.
“So, what stops South West and South South aspirants from withdrawing from the race to support only the South East aspirants?
“In my previous statements, I applauded a couple of South West and South South elders who extended their support to our region and also called on other regions to consider the South East for President.
“However, we cannot continue to rely on oral support and mere statements when what is needed most is practical action.
“And what is this action? persuading and stopping your sons and kinsmen to drop their presidential ambition for the South East. Anything less than that is hypocritical and we cannot fall for it again.
“If all we do is to rely on statements and speeches of elder statesmen without taking decisive steps, we would be left behind politically again and we don’t want that to happen.
“If I am right, let posterity applaud me, if I am wrong, let it judge me,’ Kalu said.