BY GRACE ONWUKWE, ENUGU
The South East Coalition for Good Governance, SECG, has said the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, will “face electoral consequences” for failing to concede its presidential and vice presidential tickets to the South East.
The PDP had fielded former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar and Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, as Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates of the party ahead of the 2023 presidential elections.
Former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, had emerged the presidential flag-bearer of the the All Progressives Congress, APC, defeating former Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, Vice President Yemi Osibanjo and 20 other contestants.
Tinubu, in a bid to beat deadline of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, submitted the name of former National Welfare Secretary of the APC, Kabir Ibrahim Masari from Katsina State, as his running mate, to INEC.
Masari’s name was submitted pending the conclusion of consultations on the issue of Tinubu’s running mate.
Reacting to the development, President of SECG, Emmanuel Okwu in a statement in Enugu said the “South East was technically schemed out by the two major political parties in the race for the 2023 presidential race”
“This is a deliberate policy, not a coincidence, but a carefully designed plot by the leadership of the APC and the PDP, to deny the South East the presidency in 2023, despite overflowing cries of marginalization and injustice meted on the South East zone
“It is strange that the two political parties, despite the enormous support it garnered from the people of the zone, particularly the PDP, could not choose among their numerous loyalists and political henchmen in the region, a running mate for its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
“The PDP has continued to enjoy enormous political goodwill in the South East zone since 1999. It is therefore unacceptable how the party could succumb to anti-Igbo script to deny the region not only its presidential ticket, but also the Vice Presidential slot.
The group also took a swipe at the APC, saying since its formation in 2014, the party has continued to “ exhibit disdain for the South East by relegating the region to the background in all its affairs”
“No one from the South East has been Senate President or Speaker of the House of Representatives or held a key portfolio in the security, political and economic apparatus of the country since APC came to power in 2015.
“The denial of an Igbo, the presidential and vice presidential tickets of the part, despite the sacrifice made by the South East for the South West to produce a President in 1999, is an elongation of the plot to keep the South East out of the power equation of the country for a long time.
“The PDP and APC will suffer electoral consequences for their actions in the South East in the 2023 general elections. We will reject them in Igboland” the statement concluded.