The long search for a credible South-Easterner to project for 2023 presidency on APC platform

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Let us say it for the umpteenth time that APC is the most realistic platform for a South-Easterner to become President of Nigeria in 2023. That was why we convened South-East APC Integrity Group in June 2015 and launched its presidential project, South-East APC Presidency Project 2023, in January 2020.

Yes, thousands of South-Easterners are qualified to become President of Nigeria. But we don’t just want the South-East to produce President Buhari’s successor, we also are desirous of presenting one of the very best practical presidential materials from the South-East.

Since about June 2020 when we started contemplating on possible presidential materials of South-East extraction to project on APC platform, several names have crossed our minds and we have even flown one or two kites (Emeka Nwajiuba, Ken Nnamani) in that regard.

However, it is not just down to us as leaders of South-East APC Presidency Project 2023; it also depends on the possible presidential materials. If we thought of them and even encouraged them to declare to contest for President but they failed to do so, would we force them? Could we take a horse to the river and force it to drink water?

With the enormous goodwill that emergence of President of Nigeria of South-East extraction is now enjoying across Nigeria, we cannot relent in our search for that one credible South-Easterner to project on APC platform for the 2023 presidential race.

When it seemed as if we might have to compromise on the quality and capacity of the individual we were looking for, a book – “Reflections on the Igbo Question” – was presented recently.

Written by Senator Odidika Hope Uzodinma, Governor of Imo State, passages from it point to a man with refreshing but hitherto hidden philosophy, the kind of philosophical pontification that a credible presidential material must be capable of.

Since presentation of that book, we have been thinking. From our findings, appointed or employed persons – such as Ministers – may be presidential materials but they cannot be free and available to declare in time to contest. They may only be ready to resign their appointment or employment 30 days to presidential primary, and that won’t be acceptable.

Some of the persons who are free and available to declare to contest even 9 months to presidential primary are elected individuals like governors and legislators or persons who are not in government presently.

With that book presentation and our discovery that Governor Uzodinma is of certain essential philosophy needed for national leadership, we started thinking that with a combination of his leadership intellect, reasonable financial capacity and national exposure, that he might be an obvious presidential material of South-East extraction that we had not considered before.

Yesterday Saturday, 18th December 2021, we sent a WhatsApp chat to His Excellency, Governor Uzodinma, suggesting that he should step forward for the 2023 presidential race.

As we said in that chat, if he declares but fails at presidential primary around August 2022, he will simply continue with his governorship. But if he succeeds, as we expect anyone we are projecting to succeed, he will resign as governor to face the presidential campaign, giving Imo East senatorial zone (through Prof Placid Njoku) the opportunity to become governor on APC platform before January 2024.

If we were Governor Uzodinma, we would take the chance and refreshingly change political direction in both Imo State and Nigeria, as well as give hope to APC.

Chinedu Jideofo-Ogbuagu,
National Coordinator,
South-East APC Presidency Project 2023 – a project of South-East APC Integrity Group.
09052910866, 08023163451.

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