From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Enugu
As discussions surrounding the 2023 presidential election gathers pace, South East Governors and other politicians from the region have been warned against ‘angling for the position of Vice President’.
The Association of South East Past Presidents-General, which gave the warning in Enugu at the weekend, said the zone would not accept any one reducing it to ‘second fiddle political status’ in 2023.
At an official public presentation of the former Chief Judge of Anambra State, Justice Peter Umeadi, who is also a Professor of Law, the association said the general consensus by equity, justice and fair play was that the next President of the country should emerge from the South East.
The former PGs, who lead the over 2000 Igbo communities in the past, stressed that with such understanding, it was necessary to give Nigerians one of the zone’s best, hence their endorsement and presentation of Umeadi.
The association stressed that ‘Professor Peter Umeadi has exhibited admirable level of political courage by stepping out to contest for the Nigeria’s highest political office as against the subservient ambitions of most Igbo Governors and other politicians who are angling for the position of Vice President, thereby reducing Igbo to second fiddle political status.’
They called on political parties in the country to consider giving their Presidential ticket for 2023 Presidential election to the former Chief Judge, Umeadi.
Describing Umeadi as a man of integrity they urged all the political parties interested in winning the 2023 presidential election to either make him their candidate or adopt him as same.
In their address read to newsmen at a press conference by the National Secretary of the association, Mr. Charles Nnorom, the body said it painstakingly took the decision to endorse and present Umeadi after he came top in their assessment that dates back from November 2019 when it set up a 24-man Igbo Presidential candidate nomination committee.
The committee it said had in June 2020 shortlisted a total of 17 names, 12 males and five females, including past and serving governors as well as other seasoned politicians, retired public servants and technocrats from where the number was pruned to three with Umeadi finally emerging the best on December 18, 2020.
‘The Association found Professor Peter Umeadi to be the most eligible, credible, sellable and serviceable of all potential Igbo Presidential aspirants and possesses the requisite credentials, antecedents and character befitting a President of the Federal Republic.’