The South East Mandate (SEM), a new group in the All Progressives Congress (APC), at the weekend, with a call on President Muhammadu Buhari to nudge the party to nominate its presidential candidate in 2023 from the South East.
Convener of the group and former Senate Committee Chairman on Works, Chief Julius Ucha, from Ebonyi State, stated that the group emerged to actualise a President of South East extraction in the next election.
Briefing newsmen after the group’s meeting in Enugu, Ucha said they identified lack of trust, latent fear, suspicion, and prejudice as factors holding the South East down in Nigeria’s political equation, stressing that they decided to work to enable Ndigbo to overcome the handicap.
He also identified the inability to build a common platform to articulate common interests as part of the difficulty, assuring that efforts would be made to curb the trend and effectively place the South East region on the winning ways.
“This platform is expected to provide opportunities through which we can vigorously debate our interests, set our priorities, and tailor them to achieve our common purpose.
“If we have a forum where we exhaust our republican energy and channel it to a common cause without making a public show of our differences, most Nigerians will be denied the space to always tag us as a people who will never agree on a common cause.”
According to him, the South East is a solid part of Nigeria and should have an opportunity of producing the President because equality is equity.
On SEM’s preferred candidate should the opportunity presents itself, Ucha stated: “The purpose of this movement is to persuade the people of southeast extraction, who may have presidential ambition, to appreciate the need of coming together to present a candidate that will be generally accepted and have the capacity to drive the process, and we are on the cause to achieving that.”
He added that every political party in Nigeria was aware that southeast was ripe for a Presidential ticket in the spirit of justice, equity, and good conscience.