A former President of the Senate and member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Anyim Pius Anyim, has said although the south-east is entitled to the presidential seat in 2023, it would have to persuade other regions for support.
Anyim said this yesterday while speaking at the national convention of the United for Better Nigeria Initiative (UBNI) held in Abuja.
The former senate president encouraged the South-east to go ahead with the campaign for presidency with an attitude of persuasion.
“Is it right for the South-east to produce the next president? My answer is legally no, and the reason is that the constitution is clear. The constitution says every Nigerian of 40 years is entitled to aspire for that office,” he said.
“On the other side, morally, is it right? Is it an entitlement? I will say yes because the federal character principle enshrined in the constitution encourages rotation.
“The reason I have to make this clarification is that when the right you have is not legal, the only approach and the instrument you have is persuasion.
“So, the approach, the language will be to persuade others to see reason with you that morally they should support you to take a turn since it rotates.”
Chukwuemeka Ezeife, a former governor of Anambra, who also spoke at the event, emphasised the need for a united Nigeria where everyone is carried along without discrimination.
“So I found Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo and other groups in this place talking about the need for federal character. If you do it that way, there will be unity. If there is fairness, equity, justice, you will have unity and progress,” he said.
“In the absence of those, you see where we are now. It is not a matter of giving us president. We don’t give; you have to work for it. The Igbo does not prostrate.
“The Igbo man does not kneel down, but this time, we are prepared to kneel down to every part of Nigeria, every group, every ethnic group in Nigeria. We are prepared to even prostrate because we believe in this country.”