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NATIONAL: Nominate South-East candidates, Igbo leaders urge political parties

INFLUENTIAL politicians from the South-East met today, and resolved to unite regardless of party affiliations towards the emergence of a president of Igbo extraction in 2023.

The politicians met under the auspices of South-East Political Leaders at Sen. Orji Kalu’s Camp Neya country home in Igbere, Bende Local Government Area of Abia, according to News agency of Nigeria, NAN.

In a five-point communique issued after the meeting, the leaders implored “all the political parties to cede their presidential tickets in the 2023 general election to the southeast.”

They stated that such gesture would be “in the interest of justice, equity, and national unity.”

The Southeast leaders resolved that the zone, “with a substantial presence in every part of the country,” would give bloc vote and full support to any of the two major political parties that nominated their presidential candidates from the zone.

Reading the communique to newsmen, the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. Pius Anyim, stated that a president from the zone “will work to unite and develop every part of the country.

“Such a president will be president of all Nigerians, irrespective of their political, ethnic, and religious backgrounds.”

The communique also affirmed that such a president would ensure “that all citizens and every part of the country is given a sense of belonging and treated with the utmost sense of justice.

“Such was the dream of the founding fathers of this great nation, wherefore they declared that ‘though tribe and tongue may differ, in brotherhood we stand’.

“For the same reason, they also committed to building a just nation, where no man is oppressed so that Nigeria may be blessed with peace, plenty, and prosperity,” it added.

The group further implored Nigerians across political, ethnic, religious, and geopolitical divides to support the zone’s aspiration in 2023 “as a mark of good faith and to promote justice and national harmony.”

It described such support as vital “in giving every part of the country a sense of belonging and in promoting national unity and solidarity.

“It is the loudest reassurance of equality of all parts and that the country indeed belongs to all members of the Nigerian commonwealth.”

The Southeast political leaders also restated their commitment to “the deepening of the nation’s democracy as the surest way to fast-track national development and building an egalitarian society, where no man is oppressed for reasons of class, ethnic, religious or political affiliation.”

Aside from Kalu and Anyim, other prominent Igbo politicians at the meeting, according to NAN, included former Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ike Ekwerenmadu; Rep. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, Rep. Toby Okechukwu, Deputy Chief Whip and Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.

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