2023: ‘South East traitors in APC, PDP’ll retire from politics prematurely’
Igbo Elders Consultative Forum (IECF), also known as Ime-obi Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has described Igbo delegates, who voted against South-East aspirants in the presidential primaries held recently as serial betrayals and shameless saboteurs.
The elders specifically expressed concern over the monetisation of the presidential primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Secretary of the forum, Prof. Charles Nwekeaku, in a statement on Friday in Abuja, berated the major political parties for their refusal to zone the presidency to the South East and shifting goal post in the middle of the game.
Nwekeaku declared that the Southeast wouldn’t vote for both the APC and PDP in 2023, saying that the parties do not deserve their votes any more.
He said: “We observed with grave concern the unprecedented monetisation of the recent political parties’ primary elections, especially the presidential election at which highest bidders emerged as presidential candidates.
“More worrisome was the failure of the major political parties, the ruling APC, and PDP, to zone the Presidency to the South East in keeping with the Federal Character principle and zoning arrangement as contain in Section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the various political parties constitutions for the sake of justice, equity, fairness, peace and stability of the country.”
“Worse still, the brazen arrogance and bravado that characterised the PDP leadership changing of the goal post at the middle of the game portrays a bleak future for good governance, transparency and accountability for Nigeria as the principles of justice, equity and fairness do not seem to matter again because it is the turn of the South East.
“Equally shocking and saddening was the brazen betrayal and unbridled collusion of some unpatriotic Igbo sons and daughters that shamelessly and unrepentantly joined those who do not mean well for our people to deny President aspirants from the South East their support and votes.
“They worked and voted for Dollar and lucre at the expense of their fellow aspirants from the South East in brazen arrogance and disregard of the demand of the Southern Governors Forum, Southern and Middle Belt Forum, Afenifere, Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEFU, Igbo Elders Consultative Forum, Ohaneze Global, among other credible and vocal stakeholders that demanded that the Presidency be zoned to the South, and further micro zoned to the South East.
“Except Ebonyi State, other delegates from Anambra, Abia, Enugu and Imo states and their sponsors need to explain to Ndi Igbo, who they sold their votes to and at what cost at the expense of our collective interest of producing the President of Nigeria in 2023.”
According to the forum, the serial betrayals and shameless saboteurs would forever regret their unpatriotic actions against the collective interest of the Igbos.
He added that this would not happen again as the Igbo Elders shall provide a new leadership that would strengthen the Ohanaeze leadership in Igbo land, saying, “Those betrayals will retire from politics shamefully and unceremoniously as they will never represent South East in any public service again.”
Nwekeaku appealed to Igbos to remain calm as the forum was studying the development, and would, certainly, take decisive actions against those betrayals and opportunists, no matter their position and calibre, to serve as deterrent for those who are still plotting to betray the Igbos in the planned 2023 general elections.”
He urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to extend the voter registration exercise for three months to enable every eligible Nigerian to register and participate in the next year general elections.
“It is equally important for INEC to resume the online registration in order to decongest the already overcrowded registration centers, thus facilitating the registration of more Nigerians to participate in the democratic process of electing their leaders as it is generally believed that the application of the electronic transmission of votes as contains in the 2022 Electoral Act would make citizens’ votes count in determining the electoral victory in the country.
“For the political parties that denied the Igbos presidential slot, we shall reject them completely in the general elections of 2023, as they do not deserve our votes any more,” he said.