A former President of the Senate Anyim Pius Anyim, and some prominent Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) members yesterday stepped up the campaign for a President of Southeast extraction in 2023.
They, therefore, called on the political parties, especially the PDP, to zone their presidential slot to the Southeast because of its people’s “eminent qualifications and overwhelming contributions to the development of all parts of the federation through the years.”
Anyim and the party leaders added that zoning the presidential tickets of parties to the Southeast would be “the best way of ensuring that we build a nation that leaves no one or group behind.”
They spoke at a Southeast briefing and consultation by Anyim on his 2023 presidential ambition in Enugu, Enugu State.
The PDP leaders that spoke at the event were the National Vice – Chairman (Southeast), Ali Odefa; Senate Minority Leader Eyinnaya Abaribe and former Abia State Governor Theodore Orji;
The leaders assured Anyim of their support in a communique issued at the end of the event by Orji and Duru Iheoma (SAN).
The communiqué reads partly: “ That the choice of who becomes President in 2023 has become a strategic imperative for the future of Nigeria.
“In this regard, the vision, capacity, experience, and disposition of the next president will make the difference in the socio-political stability and economic development of the country.
“That we appeal to the Peoples Democratic Party in particular, to in the interest of equity, justice and harmonious national cohesion to zone their presidential ticket to the Southern zones of the country and the Southeast in particular.
“That the people of the Southeast have earned the right to occupy the office of President in 2023 on account of their eminent qualifications and overwhelming contributions to the development of all parts of the federation through the years.
“We further reiterate that the choice of a Southeast citizen as the presidential candidate of the party in 2023 will guarantee to every Nigerian, a sense of equity, justice, and inclusion in the management of the affairs of the nation. In our view, this is the best way of ensuring that we build a nation that leaves no one or group behind.
“On account of the foregoing, we congratulate Senator Anyim for the patriotism of his decision to offer himself for national service by aspiring to contest in the 2023 presidential race.
“We take due cognizance of his record of distinguished and unblemished service as President of the Senate and Secretary to the Government of the Federation(SGF).
“We, therefore, unanimously endorse his aspiration with all conviction and enthusiasm and eagerly commend him to the rest of the nation as a worthy leader who will pilot the affairs of the nation towards greater security, unity, and prosperity for all citizens.
“In furtherance of the foregoing, we hereby oblige Senator Anyim his request that we all join him to persuade and reassure every part of the country to do justice to the Southeast and thereby promote equity and justice as core values of our nation.”
They also extended the same hand of support and solidarity to all qualified and deserving sons and daughters of the Southeast with similar aspirations.
The leaders appealed to “all the people of the of Southeast to remain steadfast in the hope that we can all join hands in solidarity with all other parts of the federation to build a prosperous nation founded on democratic ethos, equity, and inclusion to the benefit of this great nation.”
Anyim had in his welcome address said he would contest the presidential slot, whether the PDP zoned it to the South or not.
His words: “You may recall that when I declared my interest to contest for the presidency, I was emphatic that I will contest whether the presidency is zoned to the South or not.
“This is because If the Presidency is zoned to Southeast, it will satisfy the just demand of equity and fairness. If it is not zoned to the Southeast, it will remain a burden on the conscience of the nation.
“Let me therefore at this point join all well-meaning Nigerians to appeal to all the political parties to take the fair, just and equitable decision to zone their presidential slots to the South particularly the South East.
The former SGF noted that with less than one and half years to the general election, the challenge before the PDP was how to deliver on the expectations of Nigerians.
According to him:”Nigerians are looking up to the PDP to rebuild the nation; to protect lives and property; to restore the respect of Nigeria within the comity of nations; to re-align the political structure of Nigeria to reflect the current realities; to revive the economy and save the naira; to rebuild the broken-down social fabric; to create jobs for the teeming youths and rehabilitate collapsing educational systems of the country”.
He noted that the task ahead called for a candidate who possesses the political pedigree, vision, and credentials to lead the PDP to accomplish the tasks.
“It is in furtherance of this that I put forth my credentials and records for your consideration”, he said.
Anyim described himself as a loyal and committed party man, who understands the goals and aspirations of the PDP towards restoring the country on the path of growth and development.
The former Senate President said even though he might not be the most qualified from the Southeast or the country, he was only offering himself to continue rendering services to the people.
Orji, who was the chairman of the occasion, noted that the people of the southeast rightly believe that the presidency should come to their zone.
He called on the people of the zone to support Anyim’s candidature as he was very capable of leading the country.
Orji, a former Abia State governor, commended Anyim for the courage to present himself for the position and do the needful by formally informing the people of the Southeast.
Odefa, who is the PDP national vice-chairman (Southeast), said that Anyim was Ebonyi State’s only candidate for the presidential position.
“Anybody who does not have integrity should not be allowed to go for the presidency. Anyim is a man with integrity and the Southeast is behind him,” he added.
Abaribe said that by presenting himself, Anyim had shown that the Southeast has capable persons to lead the country.