A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Imo State, Hon Celestine Nwachukwu, has said that the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC may not emerge from the South East.
Speaking to newsmen in Owerri, Nwachukwu said despite the strong agitation for a Nigerian President of South East extraction to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 20203, he is not optimistic that the governing party would concede its presidential ticket to an Igbo.
He cited the least number of delegates from the region to the Presidential convention as a major factor which he said, could hamper the chances of presidential aspirants from the South East to pick the APC presidential ticket.
“Presidential hopefuls from the South East are the most disadvantaged in the contest. Of the 7, 747 delegates expected at the APC presidential primaries, delegates from the South East are 838. How would this number of delegates fetch the presidential ticket of the party for an Igbo presidential aspirant?” he queried
He also said the fate of Southern presidential aspirants depends largely on the Northern delegates.
“The North do have 4,414 delegates, while the South are expected to come to the Presidential convention with 3,333 delegates.
“The South East is numerically disadvantaged and unless the North backs a candidate from the South East which is most unlikely, Igbo Presidency in the APC would end up in smoke.
Nwachukwu called on Presidential aspirants from the South East to rather come together and reach an understanding to have a consensus candidate from the region and reach out to the North for support.
“Our presidential aspirants should bury the thought of being handpicked as consensus candidate by the President or power brokers in the party” Nwachukwu stated.
Among presidential aspirants from the South East eying the APC presidential ticket are: Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, Senator Rochas Okorocha, Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige and former Senate President, Ken Nnamani.
The APC is expected to hold its presidential primaries between May 30-31, 2022.