Uzodimma Urges APC, PDP to Pick Presidential Candidates from South-east
Goddy Egene and Dike Onwuamaeze
The Governor of Imo State, Mr. Hope Uzodimma, has tasked the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), which are the two major political parties in Nigeria, to pick their presidential candidates for the oncoming 2023 presidential election from the South-east geopolitical zone.
Uzodimma said that this would decentralise power-sharing in the country in a manner that would ensure inclusiveness, justice and equity.
He gave this task yesterday during an interactive session with journalists in Lagos .
The governor said that by choosing their respective presidential candidates from the South-east, the PDP and the APC would have completed the circle that started in 1999 when the two dominant political parties at the time, namely the PDP and APC/Alliance for Democracy picked their presidential candidates from South-west to compensate the zone for the annulled 1993 presidential election that was won by late Chief Moshood Abiola, who hailed from the South-west.
He said: “I know that in the South-east today, we are in a strong hunger to produce the next president of Nigeria. But we cannot do it alone and needs other members of the parties in several political zones to work with us.
“But, in 1999, after the annulment of June 12, 1993, presidential election, it was the decision of the national leadership of Nigerian political parties to allow the South-west to produce the president to cool the temperature.
“Now the situation is repeating itself. There is a national sympathy for the South-east to produce Nigeria’s president. What will make it work is for the two major political parties to produce their presidential candidates from the South-east geopolitical zone. That way we will decentralise this power-sharing in a manner that will become all-inclusive and justice and equity would have been seen to be done.”
Uzodimma also used the occasion to state unequivocally that South-east governors are united in matters affecting the security in the zone, adding that opposition politicians who could not stomach their defeat are behind the wave of insecurity in the region, particularly in Imo State.
“What we care most for is for the environment for citizens to go about their businesses without any molestation. That is the best compensation any government will give its citizens.
“The insecurity situation in Imo State was initially misunderstood as Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB)/ESN phenomenon. But it was caused by political opposition and those who want to create a distraction for my government and make Imo State ungovernable; Those who are unable to manage their loss or those who want to create a distraction to be able to get away with some of the lootings they did. But it does not bother me because they have lost the battle not only in Imo State but in the South-east,” the governor said, adding that pleas from security agencies investigating the security situation in Imo State constrained him to withhold naming the disgruntled politicians fueling the security challenges as he had earlier promised.
He also said that the Imo State Government is waiting to receive the written judgment that was recently given by the Supreme Court on disputed oil wells between Imo State and Rivers State before it would comment on it.
He also faulted the claim that he abolished the free tertiary education policy in the state when he assumed office.
The governor described the free university education in the state as a reality that existed only on television and radio broadcasts.
He said: “The truth must be told that there has never been free education for Imo State’s university students. It was only available on television as students were paying up to N120,000 as ‘other fees.’ What Imo State university students paid before I assumed office is what they are still paying. We have not reviewed any fees. Rather what we are doing now is to strengthen infrastructure in that school, put discipline in place and grant some measure of autonomy to the school to function with little or no interference from the government. Whoever told you that he was doing free education was only doing so on the television and radio.”