The South-East For President 2023 (SEFORP2023) and Igbo Leadership Development Foundation (ILDF) have urged political parties in the country to zone their 2023 presidential tickets to the region or face legal action.
The National Chairman of ILDF, Dr Godwin Udibe disclosed this during a joint press conference by the two interest groups in Enugu.
Udibe said that it was only fair that power returned to the South in 2023, adding that it would then naturally be the turn of the South-East to produce the president.
He said that the region was not requesting for the impossible as a similar power concession was made to the South-West in 2009.
He said that if the existing political parties failed to make firm commitments and pronouncements on the matter within the next 30 days, “we will seek for a court order compelling them to do so.”
He said that the request was in line with the Federal Character Act and the zoning principle enshrined in the constitution of the major political parties.
He said that it had become necessary to speak out as the body language of some of the political parties was pointing elsewhere.
He said that it was only equitable that fairness and justice were served to all the constituent parts of the country through balance and rotation of political power, including the presidency.
He said that denying the South-East the opportunity to produce the next president in 2023 would be the greatest and fatal injustice done to the zone.
“We have observed ongoing subterranean maneuvering in the major political parties to shortchange the South-East in the 2023 presidential contest.
“We wish to make it abundantly clear that any arrangement which denies the region the presidential slot in 2023 will be resisted by every legal means possible,” he said.
Udibe appealed to members of the respective political parties from the region to constitute lobby groups and engage the major decision making organs of their parties toward realising consensus zoning of the presidential tickets to the South-East.
“We wish to advise the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to jettison the illogical argument of trying to zone its ticket to the North. The North has taken its turn.
“The ultimate benefits of zoning are for the six geopolitical zones and once a zone has taken its turn, it is only natural for another zone to take the position in the next election,” he said.
Udibe called on Nigerians with good conscience to rally support for the South-East for the sake of equity, justice and fairness.
“The political actors, especially, should embrace practices which will unite the country and not those that will further widen the gulf of division,” Udibe said.