Former Abia State governor Orji Uzor Kalu has denied backing out of the presidential race, noting that he only adviced his brothers in South-West, South-south to support Igbos
The Senator representing Abia North Senatorial Zone clarified this his country home while answering questions from journalists, saying it became imperative as some persons who read his recently published statement about equity twisted it to send the wrong information to the public.
Kanu said he would now focus his attention on returning to the Senate.
Orji Uzor Kalu had acknowledged in a statement on Tuesday that the situation in Nigeria is that without the support of other regions, it would amount to a shadow chasing for a South Easterner to be President.
“This is the reason I have been in the frontline of the call that the two major political parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should zone their presidential tickets to the South East as they did for the South West in 1999.
“In the absence of this zoning, I shall return to the Senate and stay away from the presidential contest. The reality is that the North is more advantageous to win elections in this democratic setting.”
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“It is my desire and intention to run for the Presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I am committed to this pursuit, but I can’t make an official declaration in this regard without the full support of other regions. “Everywhere in the world, politics is situational and that of Nigeria is exceptionally situational. The situation in Nigeria is that without the support of other regions, it would amount to a shadow chasing for a South Easterner to be President.”
The reality is that the North is more advantageous to win elections in this democratic setting,” Kalu said earlier.
He expressed dismay with the array of aspirants coming from the South West and the South-South.
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“It is embarrassing that these aspirants (APC and PDP) have no single respect and concern for the South East. I had thought they would think about the South-East; I thought they would support us.
“The amount of money being spent by these aspirants is alarming and they have forgotten that money alone cannot buy the presidency.
“It has become a joke to an ordinary Nigerian who hears Southern commentators and aspirants rooting for a Southern President on the premise of fairness, equity and justice.
“How can you talk about these morals when you are not even fair to your own brothers?
“If there is anything like “fairness”, “equity” and “justice”, it should be the entire South pushing for a president of South-East extraction. Anything less than that is “hypocritical”, “unjustifiable” and “inordinate”.
“Some ‘persons’ are even claiming God’s anointed choice in 2023. Unfortunately, it is not all prayers that God answers; at least not inordinate ones.
“What moral justification does a Southerner who refused to be fair to his brothers have against a Northerner running for president? It will be very insensitive, unreasonable and disrespectful for any Southern man to criticize a presidential aspirant from the North on the ground that the North has done eight years and power should return to the South.
“The South West and the South-South have successfully completed their tenures as ‘President and Vice President’.
“They should have the courage to support their brothers from the South East. If the next president after President Muhammadu Buhari does not come from the South East, there would be nothing unfair and unjust if he/she comes from Daura.”
But in a later interview, clarifying his position on the race, Orji Uzor Kalu said he was still in the race, but would declare officially when his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) decides to zone the presidential ticket to the South-East.
“My stand is very clear. I didn’t drop, I’ve never dropped and I didn’t drop. My advice was for our brothers from South-South and South-West to support us in the South East.
“They came out en masse to run for president which is not right. Because if there must be equity, the equity must be South-East.
“I don’t want to see people from South-South and South-West talking about equity. President Jonathan was the Vice President and President for six years. Obasanjo was president for eight years. Osinbajo will be Vice President for eight years soon.
“So, if there’s any name called equity and justice, it is South-East. Unless that equity is done to us, any other person can run for president including People from Daura.
“That’s the issue. If we want to talk about equity, every aspirant from South-South and South-West should drop and support us. Unless the ticket will be open for all Nigerians. This is my stand. I’ve never said I’m dropping for anybody”, Kalu reaffirmed.