2023: South East, North Central Forum holds conference
As part of preparations ahead of 2023 elections, the people of Southeast have opened dialogue with the people of the North Central in respect to their agitation to produce the next president of Nigeria.
Speaking at a press conference organized by the South East and North Central Forum in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, last week, chairman of the forum, Mr. Afam Ezenwafor, said they have come to seek the support of the north central because the south east has realized that it cannot successfully prosecute the 2023 project without the support of other regions.
Ezenwafor, who is also the chairman, Conference of South East APC House of Assembly candidates, said "We cannot do without the middle and the North Central is in the middle. What is holding Nigeria together is the Middle Belt. Our synergy with the northcentral will form a formidable force to win the race in 2023."
The forum chairman while noting that the Igbo people see Nigeria as their business, assured that the southeast will not bring a bad product to the people in 2023 but will put forward its best and sellable hands.
"Igbo people see Nigeria as their business and since they don't ever want their business to crash, Nigeria will not crash in the hand of the Igbo. We are also aware that there's need for us to bring a sound candidate and that we can assure you we will do because the destiny of this country lies in our hands.
"We are here to assure our brothers that we believe in the Nigerian project and to let them know the need for them to support us produce the president of this country come 2023", he said.
He decried the incessant herdsmen attacks on farmers of the northcentral zone of the country, insisting that what the northcentral needs mostly now is security assuring that a southeastern president will provide that security.
On his part, the convener of the Forum, George Ugwuja, explained that the forum was put together by the conference of 2019 South East APC House of Assembly Candidates made up of all the candidates that ran for 2019 state assembly elections across all the south eastern states.
Ugwuja said some of the resolutions reached at the forum include, "That north central Nigeria will support south east Nigeria to achieve their quest for 2023 presidency, and "that the north central and south east are collaborating in a new political formation to confront all perceived political marginalization across the two zones," among others.
He said the forum, while commending President Muhammadu Buhari for implementing major projects in the south east and north central including the second Niger bridge, stressed the need to continue to pressure the government to maintain all federal roads connecting south east to north central including the Otukpa to Obollo Afor road to improve economic activities, most especially, transportation of farm produce to larger markets.
Also speaking, the host, Engr. Benjamin Iordye advocated that since Nigeria is adopting and adapting the federal republic system of government, ethnic minorities must be given a shot at the presidency through constituent and balanced rotation of power in the spirit of fair play, justice, equity and equality.