Thu. Oct 29th, 2020

It is not rational to deny the South East the presidential slot in 2023, elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, has said.But he tasked the South East to work hard and convince other parts of the country to accept its candidate for the presidency come 2023.

Yakasai, a founding member of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), spoke with newsmen after a closed-door peace meeting by some eminent Nigerians at the Sheraton Hotel, Lagos.

He said: “There is no reason to deny the South East the opportunity to produce the president in 2023. The North, West have had it. It will not make sense to deny the South East.“But then, the Igbos have to work hard for power and convince people because it is a matter of numbers.

They have to convince the rest of the country to accept whoever they put forward to be accepted.”According to him, there is need for political parties that would be controlled by the masses and not by few individuals.“In our days, nobody ever claimed to be the owner of [parties]. The people must make sure they take ownership of the party.“I hope the people will try to turn the parties to the masses. The mistake former President Olusegun Obasanjo made by saying he was the national leader of a party killed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),” he said.However, chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has described reports that President Muhammadu Buhari would hand over to Bola Tinubu in 2023 as mere speculation.

Speaking to newsmen in Owerri at the weekend, the Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) said politics had gone beyond speculation, adding that nobody should be deceived into believing what is not.His words, “Why do we have to dwell on speculations in this era? We are talking about people who are alive. The president is alive, Tinubu is alive and we, the leaders, are still alive.”“We are keying into the national politics because we need a platform to aspire and the platform is APC. And now that Imo State has joined APC, we are hoping that other states in the South East will follow suit.

Our desire as a political party is to win election anywhere.”Asked if the Igbo’s are well treated in APC under the Buhari administration, he said.“In every sense of it, very well. But like every other person, we keep demanding and getting more.”

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