The former National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Senator Victor Umeh, has accused the South-West politicians jostling to occupy the presidency in 2023 of seeking the break-up of Nigeria.
Umeh, who spoke in an interview at the sideline of the Imeobi Ohanaeze meeting in Enugu on Thursday, said it was incomprehensible that South-West whose their son, Olusegun Obasanjo served eight years as the president, and their son is currently serving out eight years as Vice President, would be jostling to occupy the presidency in 2023.
He noted that the aspiration of the people of South-East that one of theirs should be president in 2023 wasn’t by force but to heal the wounds of the past and many things, and move on together as a people, adding “we must show sincerity of purpose and mission towards achieving unity for Nigeria”.
Umeh explained that it would not help the country “if people begin to tell others that they cannot do anything”, noting that in an actual sense nobody can do it alone.
“It will be paying lips service to the need for us to be one people, one country, one nation. Today we have a country with so many nations inside it and the only thing that is making it look like that is because people are not happy with the way things are being run in Nigeria.
“So if the political gladiators are sincere that they want to keep Nigeria together, the best thing to do is to support the South-East based on equity, justice and fairness. In the South-West, you can see a lot of presidential aspirants are declaring from the South-West, it is funny.
“The South West has produced Obasanjo for eight years, their son is the Vice President, who is serving out for eight years and the election is coming up next year for the presidential election, all of them are declaring. I think they are looking for a breakup of Nigeria if I want to put it forward because if they want Nigeria to be united, they will not be seeking to occupy that office next year. It will be insensitive to the need to gum our people together. Let them be united in one mission of having a viral united country.
“So if this year, at the presidential primary which is coming up at the end of this month and first three days in June, and they think they can do it that way, I will tell you that the restiveness in Nigeria will continue. So we give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give God what is God’s. Justice does not hurt anybody that is what we have been doing.”
“We must show sincerity of purpose and mission towards achieving unity for Nigeria. It will not help the country if people begin to tell others that they cannot do anything and the actual nobody can do it alone. We have said clearly in the past that for Nigeria to remain together there is a need to share power with all Nigerians, is not something somebody will take and run away and say order should continue. We have also looked at the demographics to prove that no group can do it alone.”
The former APGA Chairman said the South-East had eminently qualified people for the 2023 Presidency, who could provide leadership that would bring prosperity to Nigeria. “So the only way Nigeria can move on will be for us to accommodate each other.”
On the South-East governors who are not supporting South-East presidential aspiration, Umeh said such governors were in minority.
“They are already minority because when you go out of the mainstream of your people’s desire, you will be self-destructing yourself and the truth is that maybe some of them fall into the trap of comradeship – governors doing brothers. But what is paramount is where your people stand. Everyone must stand with his people in leadership. If you don’t stand with your people, you will become isolated,” he said.