By Ikechukwu Okaforadi with agency report
Senator Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, has said Igbo must negotiate with other zones to get their support for the presidency.
He went on to say the Igbos must work hard to make the dream a reality as power is not served ‘à la carte’.
The Senator said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) constitution only talks about rotation, and not zoning.
He said “APC has no arrangement for zoning in its constitution and none of the parties has. Our constitution talks about rotation and it says the rotation is between the North and South.
“We expect going forward, that all political parties should come to the South to pick their presidential candidates. We think Ndigbo should be favored because we have not tested it, but power is not served à la carte.”
Ngige advised Ndigbo to join the ruling party if their dream of an Igbo president is to come true.
The minister said “You cannot get the 2023 presidency through threats like some of our people are currently doing, but through negotiations with our friends in the West.
“Once again, I’m pleading with our people to join APC for us to have enough number before 2023.
“We can’t sit at a place and be crying of marginalization. We are part and parcel of Nigeria, no one owns the country, and it belongs to all of us.”
Ngige said Igbo leaders would meet over 2023 election, adding that the Southeast must discuss to move forward.
He faulted claims that the Igbo are marginalized, blaming some clerics for reinforcing what he said was misinformation.
The minister vowed to resign if he sees evidence of marginalization of Igbo by the Federal Government.
“If I see any sign of marginalization against Ndigbo from the APC government, I will resign.
Some of our people are just making unnecessary noise about marginalization when there is none.”
He argued that the APC is the best option for Ndigbo, saying “Our airport in Enugu will be re-opened before Christmas because it is going through some serious works.
“APC government is better for our people because we are benefitting more than before. Any other party is deceit.
“You can see for yourself massive construction going on everywhere in the Southeast including the second Niger Bridge, which the construction firm has assured to deliver to us before 2022 agreed on date. So, where is the marginalization of Ndigbo?” Ngige queried.
The former senator, who represented Anambra Central Senatorial District, said the Southeast would see a significant upgrade of the Onitsha-Enugu Expressway between November and December once the rain subsides.
However, eminent Professor of law, Itse Sagay (SAN), said there is a convention among all political parties that power should rotate between the North and the South.
According to him, all presidential candidates should come from the South in 2023, as according to him, the convention has become law.
Sagay, who chairs the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACAC), said the zoning arrangement has come to stay.
According to him, when a northerner rules for eight years, a southerner would take over.
He said if President Muhammadu Buhari completes his second term in 2023, it will be the turn of the South to produce the President.
According to him, the Southwest, Southeast and Southsouth will compete to produce presidential candidates of all the political parties.
Sagay said: “It is not possible for any northerner to aspire to be the presidential candidate of APC or any other political parties in 2023.
“All the presidential candidates would come from the South. Anyone advocating anything to the contrary is mischievous and out to destroy the party.”
The legal icon explained that an established convention can overrule the law because it has become law.
He said zone was a political arrangement put it in place to remove the fear of domination among the constituents.