Senate chief whip and former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, has argued that no southern candidate can take power in 2023, unless the north agrees to zone presidency to the south.
Senator Kalu who made the remark in a statement on Wednesday, also denied reports that he withdrew from the 2023 presidential race.
Kalu noted that he asked his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) to zone its presidential ticket to the southeast in the interest of fairness and equality.
According to him, he will only opt out of the race if the party fails to cede its ticket to the zone.
“I am surprised that a statement as unambiguous and clearly comprehensible as mine was still misunderstood yesterday,” Kalu said.
“In the least clear term, I had requested that other regions should support the South East to be president, especially our own brothers from the South. I added that I will run for president if the party zones the ticket to the South East
“Some people continue to throw this lamba that “power is not given but taken.” In reality, for a Southerner to become president of Nigeria, power is given and not taken. Power was given to the South West in 1999. Power was given to the South South in 2011.
“In 2015, the North did not give power to the South and that was why a sitting president lost. Unless for mischievous and selfish reasons against the South East, no one can comfortably deny these facts.
“As long as the Presidency of Nigeria is concerned, any pointer to equity and fairness is South East and North East, otherwise, and as I strongly advocated, Buhari’s kinsmen, including his wife, is free to run for the office of the president in 2023.
“It is very ungodly and immoral for any Southerner to talk about fairness and equity, but sees no fairness in working hard to cease the third meat that belongs to their remaining brother.None of the other aspirants is more Nigerian than me.
“Aside from the capacity and what it takes to govern a country as diverse as Nigeria, I remain the most detribalized living Nigerian today and these are verifiable facts. It is a false claim and an old propaganda that the South East is not united in this contest.
“In this pursuit for presidency, there is nothing the South East is doing that is different from what others are doing. Let the two major political parties zone their tickets to the South East and see the miracle that will happen to Nigeria…
“And for clarification purposes, I am still in the presidential race. My statement yesterday did not state that I withdrew from the race.
“Here is part of the statement issued on Tuesday : “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…
“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.”