The umbrella group of youth leaders in the South East geopolitical zone, under the umbrella of the Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL) has said that it is either the presidency for the Zone in 2023 or nothing.
The group emphatically demanded that the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, should cede the presidency to the South East zone in 2023 at the expiration of the tenure of the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari.
The youth coalition warned that refusal of any big political party to zone the presidency to the South East in 2023 simply means swimming against the tide of the curriculum of democracy in Nigeria.
This was contained in a statement issued by the President-General of the group, Chief Goodluck Ibem, and made available to newsmen in Umuahia on Saturday.
The Coalition warned that those clamouring for the North to take the presidency after eight years of Buhari’s presidency, are not patriotic, but place their personal gain and aggrandisement above the survival, progress and success of the country.
The youth leaders maintained that the zoning arrangement was borne out of doctrine of necessity designed as democracy bond with the sole objective of creating a sense of belonging, harmony, happiness, peace and unity for our dear country Nigeria.
The statement added, “Zoning of the presidency has its moral weight. Zoning of the office of the president to the South East in 2023 is very important to preserve the corporate entity of Nigeria and also calm down political tension.
“Elder statesmen and Nigerian patriots knew that the best thing to do in order to keep the peace and unity of this country was to create the zoning arrangement by proclaiming that the highest office, which is office of the president, should rotate between the South and the North.
“It started with the South West in 1999; in 2007 Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua took the mantle. After the unfortunate exit of President Yar’Adua, President Goodluck Jonathan from the South South took the mantle and handed over to President Muhammadu Buhari from the North whose tenure will end in 2023.
“Now the rightful zone that deserves the seat is the South East geo-political zone after the tenure of President Buhari in 2023. The zone has not occupied the elevated office and 2023 is the ample time to right the wrong.
“A Nigerian President of Igbo Extraction will take Nigeria to greater heights because the Igbo man will bring his entrepreneur spirit to bear and he sees every where he finds himself as his constituency. He is not tribalistic. He believes in ideals of a United Nigeria.
“Zoning when it was introduced in 1999 did the magic of strengthening the bonds of amity and peaceful political transitions, why should it be thrown away now that it is the turn of the South East zone?
“The 20 years of Uninterrupted democracy in this country Nigeria is as a result of zoning arrangement. Despite our different languages, religion and tribes, we are able to remain one simply because of the zoning of the office of the president. Different geopolitical zones feel secured, recognized, respected and an integral part of the country. It gave self esteem to different geopolitical zones in the country.
“Those who think zoning is not important or no more needed are deceiving themselves . We cannot jettison a political arrangement that is working because of the personal interest of very few individuals.
“We,therefore,call on other geepolitical zone to support the aspiration of brothers in the South East in order to move the country forward.”