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‘Giving president to S’East a matter of morality’

Orji Uchenna Orji is the Commissioner of Information in Ebonyi State, in this interview with Daily Trust, he said Governor Dave Umahi has been able…

Orji Uchenna Orji is the Commissioner of Information in Ebonyi State, in this interview with Daily Trust, he said Governor Dave Umahi has been able to bring political relevance to the South East with his movement to the APC.

There are calls that zoning should be jettisoned in 2023. What’s your reaction to this?

Zoning of political positions, especially that of the president, is the doing of political parties. So, each political party has its own arrangement on the zoning system. But on a matter of fact, the constitution does guarantee equitable distribution of crucial national positions, even though it does not mention that of the president. Specifically, that is very fair and just in a multi-ethnic society like Nigeria.

There could be a majority or minority in a society but the issue of equity and treatment of all sides as one will help in bringing about confidence, trust and cohesion in the polity. I think we should not flog too much the issue of zoning or not. 

We are working internally to see how the political parties we belong to will find equitable measures to zone this higher seat (president) to the South East as a matter of morality. For us, we believe that it will bring about a stronger nation with a future where there is oneness and hope. I believe the intention of our founding fathers was that from time to time, the position of presidency should rotate across the major blocks to bring about confidence. 

Politicians should ensure that these efforts of our heroes past shall not be in vain. It is important to note that every zone has very credible persons, but in doing that, every political party must look at meritocracy and acceptability. 

Everybody is talking to all political parties to ensure that issues of equity and brotherliness and equality are not thrown into the wind or swept under the carpet in stemming the tide of insecurity and agitations we are having in the country right now. 

The situation we are facing now did not start with Mr President or the past administration but lack of underdevelopment and proper integration of youth into mainstream politics which they are now voicing out. This has caused the insecurity we are in now. If we do things properly, gradually we will come back to the right situation of peace.

Do you see any connection between the insecurity we are facing and the 2023 elections?

It is absolutely not connected with the election. I can only say that the nexus is that 2023 will be a defining moment; the way and manner it is played. The way and manner political parties resolve their zoning system will also impact the security of the country.

Talking about the South East, yes, we are having violent moments of agitations in which leaders have been talking to the players to say please sheath your sword. The best thing is to discuss on the roundtable to have constructive dialogue on all the issues. 

For me and Ebonyi State, we believe that Mr President has the capability, maturity and temperament to listen to the various agitations of the people of the South East; not only South East but also other agitators across the country. I think the best thing to do is to lay down all arms and come to the roundtable.

The president has given the South East a voice in his administration and has helped in the placing of major projects in the zone which previous administrations have failed to do. For me, we should keep praying for him to listen to the voice of the people and see a reason to bring the presidency to the South East, which will help in the drowning of the agitations.

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