Southeast aspirants task APC on justice
Zakaa Lazarus, Abuja.
Ken Nnamani, a former Senate president, and Ogbonnaya Onu, a former minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, both aspirants at the All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential primary, have decried the treatment of the South East zone by the APC.
The two APC stalwarts from the South East lamented at their respective speeches at the APC Convention at Eagle Square Abuja that out of the three zones in the southern part of the country, the South East is the only zone that is yet to produce a president since the return of Nigeria to democratic rule in 1999.
Both noted that the party believes in three principles of justice, peace and unity, but that the actions of the party so far have not toed those lines, which they said have also impacted the country.
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Nnamani, whose presentation at the convention stood on three stands of justice, peace and unity, said that APC stands on three tripods; justice, peace and unity and that there has not been justice to the South East zone.
Nnamani decried that the party is discarding the federal character, which sues for fairness for all Nigerians by not looking the way of the South East.
“On March 26th we gathered here for another convention and on that March 26th all the offices being contested for were based on zoning principles, which is synonymous with Federal Character in the Nigerian constitution and helps to give all the sections of Nigeria equal opportunity.
“Today’s convention has suddenly changed. It is no longer based on zoning principle, and I will suggest very strongly that we take a second look at the constitution of Nigeria, that one that concerns Federal Character, which gives all parts of Nigeria equal opportunity to feel that that part is an integral part of the country,” Nnamani pointed out.
The former Senate president, most importantly, appealed to the delegates and the leadership of the party that in the same spirit with which the northern governors showed solidarity by saying that it is nice after having eight years of power in the north, it should move southwards, that the ticket should go to the South East.
“Now our brothers in the south, because there are three zones in the south; south east, south west and south-south, they should reciprocate the same spirit of brotherliness, which the north has shown to the south. I said this because I already implied that there is no section of our country that has a monopoly of experts,” he said.
In the same vein, Onu pointed out that the motto of APC is justice, peace and unity and must be upheld because wherever there is justice, you will have peace and prosperity.
“I say this because I believe very strongly that Mr. President has done so well. But Mr. President what is very important and exceptionally important is that we must ensure that this justice is upheld. Mr President will be completing his tenure by May 29, 2023. I think naturally, it should be someone from the South East that will now replace him and that will give the opposite of south versus north and Christian versus Muslim and it will bring stability to our nation; it will strengthen the unity of Nigeria. I am not saying it because I am from the South East,” Onu, the first governor of Abia State, said.
Expressing his grievance, Onu reminded the delegates and the party leadership at the convention that he single-handedly saw the building up and formation of APC, yet his efforts and that of his zone are not being recognised and rewarded.
“Everybody in the leadership of the party knows the role I played in bringing APC into being; the intellectual preparation for it, bringing people together, nurturing them and so on even to the point that I paid for the money that was used to register APC.
“Look at it, the South West had eight years as president, eight years as vice president, the South-South had eight years as vice president and president, where is the justice, we need to do what is right,” Onu concluded before taking a bow at the convention arena.