Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) National Organising Secretary, Emma Ibediro, has warned the South East geopolitical zone that there will be no automatic presidential ticket in 2023 for them, insisting that Igbo presidency is not a right.
Speaking to newsmen in Abuja, Ibediro argued that Igbo presidency can only be a possibility if they work extra hard to convince other ethnic nationals through a party platform.
He specifically pointed out that Igbo aspiring to become Nigeria’s president on APC’s platform should work within the party, to get the rest of Nigerians accept them for that position.
He warned that the South East needs to play good politics, the politics of engagement, the politics of consultation and politics of getting the other parts of Nigeria involved in their aspirations
“Igbo presidency is not a right, just like Hausa presidency is not a right and Yoruba presidency is not a right. Igbo presidency can only become possible if you work within the party and convince Nigerians to produce a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction.
“For instance, if I talk about my party, the APC, if you work with the party and every other member of the party, either from North-west, North-east or from North-west or from South-west. Now, I come to the conclusion that you as an individual can have the confidence of Nigerians to become their president.
“The fact that you are from South-east or from any other area is neither here or there. So, if the people from the South-east are aspiring to become Nigeria’s president, I think the first thing to do is to work within the party, to get the rest of Nigerians to accept them for that position; it is not a right,” he insisted.
Asked if he is in tune with other people’s clamour that his party should give the ticket to the Igbo, he said: “I don’t want to be emphatic that it must be an Igbo person. This party is not built on the platform of dictating to the people what they want.
“Remember, if you check the percentage of the population of members of APC and check the population of Nigerians, you will see that we are even less than five per cent. So, we are talking about a president that will be a president of Nigeria, not a president of APC. So, first of all, on whatever platform you want to achieve that aspiration, you have to work to get yourself acceptable to that platform you belong.
“It is not going to be an automatic award that Nigerians should give South-east a ticket for president. What of the situation where APC gives a ticket automatically to somebody from the South-east and he doesn’t win the election? Have you considered that?
“The South-east needs to play good politics – the politics of engagement – the politics of consultation – the politics of getting the other parts of Nigeria to be involved in their aspirations. But for now, I don’t think we are playing good politics. It is a question of give and take; I am an Igbo man and I need to be very objective.
“The president campaigned in all the five states of the South-east, just like he campaigned in every other state, but what was the return in terms of votes. So, you also need to encourage people to do something for you. You cannot at every point be asking for something without giving something back,” he argued.