As a cross section of politicians have been advocating for a Nigerian President of South East extraction come 2023, Chief Emeka Charles Kalu, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, has said that the dream is not feasible yet.
Speaking exclusively with DAILY INDEPENDENT in Lagos, Kalu, the National Coordinator, Peoples Democratic Party Coalition (PDPCO) and one-time governorship candidate in Abia State, maintained that most Igbo leaders and politicians are not yet ready for the plum position.
Kalu, Director General, Global Initiative for Good Governance (GIGG), stated that although in politics, anything is possible, he insisted that the dream an Igbo president would not be realisable in 2023 due to the prevailing realities in the country.
According to him, the current Eastern political leaders had not laid a foundational political culture that could first unite them as a region, to be able to present a formidable force that would make anyone from the region emerge as a viable presidential candidate in any of the existing political parties.
He added that the region’s political leaders needed to form an understanding with other regions as South East alone would not produce a president without the support of the other regions.
Kalu said: “I doubt the possibility of the President of Eastern extraction in 2023 if all the prevailing realities of a Nigeria state are put into perspective. However, putting every other excuse aside, the Eastern political leaders have not laid a foundational political culture that can first unite them as a region.
“It takes a collective and purpose driven political discipline to convince other regions to support you. This is because each region needs every other region to succeed. We must start from there as the first thing first.
“Then, you will bring in the reality of voting demography. In a situation where Kaduna and Sokoto states decide who becomes Nigerian President, how can such reality be defeated with a mere wish?”
He maintained that South East and South South would hardly produce the number of votes produced from Kaduna and Sokoto states, adding, “So, I believe that we can only hope it happens when these factors are addressed. But, definitely, it is not in 2023.”
Kalu continued: “So, if the East wants to produce a Nigeria’s President, they should understand that most of their leaders are not ready.
“The noise about Igbo Presidency is to give the gladiators of the East the opportunity to become Vice President for their personal ends and then, dash the expectations of the masses that follow them so diligently.
“Until the East produces a leader like Muhammadu Buhari and Abubakar Atiku in the North, Bola Tinubu in the South West, their chase for Igbo Presidency is not feasible. It will remain just a fleeing fancy.”
Kalu, an associate of former Vice President Abubakar Atiku, who featured prominently during the 2019 general elections as the Director General of Atikulated Agenda Worldwide and promoter of the Atiku/Peter Obi ticket, said the same ticket would be more realistic for the South East in 2023.
He said: The Atiku/Peter Obi presidential ticket is the pedestal on which I still stand. Nigeria needs experienced men that can take it out of the political wilderness guaranteed by Buhari and company.
“Until Nigeria is out of it and restructured, we will continue to walk in circles as a nation. Our economy is in comatose and security is at its lowest ebb.
“I will not be among Nigerians that advocate for Nigeria to be handed to a novice like some did in 2015. I will not be part of the mistake. We have witnessed its consequences since 2015.
“We should try hard to understand the difference between Igbo Presidency and Nigerian President of Igbo extraction. The two are not the same.
“We have been marketing the wrong products. Buhari took advantage of such a scenario to become a Northern President, instead of Nigerian President of Northern extraction. Look at where we are now as a nation.”
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