By Jude Michael
A former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Victor Afam Ogene, has condemned his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, for leaving out the South East in the zoning of positions.
The former lawmaker called on Igbo leaders across political divides to urgently convoke a summit of Ndigbo to see a way around it to ensure that Igbo people were not schemed out of political arrangements in the next eight years.
He said, ‘The Igbo people spent the eight years of the current APC-led federal government lamenting its near obliteration from the country’s power calculus and it is gradually coming to an end, yet there is neither an indication that the situation will be redressed, nor is there a concerted attempt by Ndigbo to avert a repeat of the status quo.
‘It was particularly irksome that in the clamour for the rotation of the presidential stool to the South, APC leaders appear to have deliberately refrained from specifically zoning the position to the South East in the spirit of equity, fairness, good conscience and precedent.
‘For those who are wont to hide under a finger, by citing the less than admirable acceptance of the party in the region, providence and precedent offer a simple answer: there once was a President who emerged in spite of electoral rejection by his ward, local government, state and region.
‘Now that Ndigbo find themselves in a similar situation, why would the rules of engagement change suddenly? Are the power brokers who despite everything else resolved the 1999 quagmire in favour of the preservation of national unity no longer alive to apply the same balm of inclusivity in order to accommodate Ndigbo?,’ Ogene queried.
Ogene, a former spokesperson of the House of Representatives, stated further that once the position was zoned to the South and a candidate emerged from either the South West or South South, it would foreclose the possibility of getting a Vice Presidential slot for Ndigbo. And in the event that the party triumphed in the 2023 election, its exclusion from the power loop would be stretched by another eight years.
‘This, therefore, is a wake-up call on all Igbo leaders of note to gird their loins and seek negotiations and accommodation for the greater political interest of the South East,’ Ogene said.