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2023: South East overdue to produce President- Orji Kalu

I’m not desperate to lead Nigeria, says ex-gov

Ex-Abia State Governor Orji Uzor Kalu insisted yesterday that the South East is overdue for the presidency. However, the Chief Whip of the Senate, who stated this while fielding questions from journalists at the National Assembly, said though he is ready and capable to lead the country, he is not desperate to become president. According to him, the 2023 presidential contest will be the collective decision of Nigerians and the zoning arrangement of the parties, particularly his party – the All Progressives Congress (APC). While making a case for the South-East to produce President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor, he observed that the region and North- East were the two geopolitical zones yet to produce President.

Kalu, who visited Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Tuesday, said the visit was a usual one, adding they have been friends for years. He said their discussion centred on national issues “with regards to security, wellbeing of our country and the issue of the electoral law”.

The legislator said: “This is not the first time I’m going to see the President. People usually go in the afternoon but I go in the night to avoid the press. I go there regularly. It’s a family affair and I went there to discuss national issues with regards to security, wellbeing of our country and the issue of the electoral law and the discussion was very fruitful.” Kalu clarified that he did not visit Buhari because of his presidential ambition, because his party has not zoned the presidency to any zone.

He said: “Did the party zone the 2023 presidency to the South? I told you before that when the party zones it officially to the South. I told you the only two zones that have not tasted the presidency are the South-East and North-East. Once they zone it to any one of them, I have the capacity and the capability; I will roll out my campaign and I will rock like a hurricane.” The Senator added: “It’s overdue for an Igboman to become a Nigerian President, I believe the South-East should produce the next President and it’s going to happen.” Kalu berated the APC presidential aspirants who had informed Buhari about their intentions, saying that they were not serious people.

He said: “They are not serious. A seriousminded person will like to be fair to Nigeria, to be fair to society and be fair to the atmosphere, because this party is not owned by me or by you the press people. It is only APC people that can decide where the party ticket will go to. If they zone it to the South- East, I have all it takes to make a good President.” The representative of Abia North in the Senate said he would pursue his presidential ambition, stressing that he would commence nationwide consultations at the right time. On the APC’s February 26 national convention, Kalu expressed optimism that the exercise would be without rancour, saying the outcome would make Nigerians proud.

 

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