Umahi said “We cannot be honest by half.” He added: “We cannot be used to drag presidency to the south and then we are shortchanged.”
Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, has said the presidency should either be microzoned to the South East or thrown open to all contestants in the country.
Umahi also indicated that President Muhammadu Buhari’s body language supports the South to succeed him, but the region is currently divided on which part should it go.
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The governor, who received the President in Ebonyi on Thursday, disclosed this during an interview on Channels TV’s Politics Today.
Unahi said, “We cannot be honest by half. When zoning doesn’t exclude people from contesting. It’s been happening. There is no political face that is not zoning in this country. And the body language of Mr President is well disposed toward the presidency shifting to the south.
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“But when the south cannot handle zoning on the basis of equity, fairness and justice, then we should continue to suggest that we shouldn’t blackmail the north; we should deceive ourselves. This thing should be thrown open because if there is no zoning, then you have no right to continue to agitate that the north cannot contest.
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“We cannot be used to drag presidency to the south and then we are shortchanged. So we should be part of such agitation if such fairness and equity cannot be ascribed to us. That is the position of most leaders in the South-East.
“I’m not asking that people from the South-West should not run; it is their constitutional right. But I want to say that we have worked together, the southern governors said look presidency should rotate to the south, but on the basis of equity, fairness, and justice we had the South-East in mind since the South-East never tested it.
“Now it has become clear that the platform upon which we collectively asked the north to concede the presidency to the south is no longer the same platform upon which the realities are based; then it’s fair and just that we should be able to allow anybody in the country to run.”