BY NDUBUISI NWOGHA ANDY, ABAKALIKI
As the clamour for who succeeds the ongoing Muhammadu Buhari led APC administration gets tensed, the South-East Muslim Elders Council (SEMEC) has called for power shift to the South-East geopolitical zone in the 2023 presidential election to ensure equity and social justice.
The call is contained in a communiqué issued by Sheikh (Barr) Suleiman Ukandu on behalf of the group after end of two days extra ordinary meeting held on Sunday in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital.
The group comprising leadership of muslim faithful from the five South-East states of Anambrar; Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo states said the emergence of Nigerian president from the zone would guarantee equity and social justice in the country.
It therefore urged leaders and South-East elite to unite interest to achieve the objective while it pledged to throw its weight behind the campaign.
“The clamour for Nigeria’s president from the South-East extraction come 2023 is non negotiable and in accordance with natural justice and equity.
“In 1999, Chief Olesegun Obasanjo, a Yoruba man was elected president and he presided for two terms of eight years while the late Umar Ya’adua from the North, took over from Obasanjo in 2007 but could not complete his first term due to death.
“Mr Goodluck Jonathan, presided over the affairs of the nation, first as acting president after Ya’adua’s death before he was elected and served for one tenure of four years.
“President Muhammadu Buhari, a notherner is in his final term of eight years with Mr Yemi Osibanjo as Vice president for second term.
“The clamour for the next president to come from the South-East zone is therefore in line with natural justice and equity and should be supported by all and sundry,” the communique read.
The group which commended current efforts by the Federal Government in the sustained fight against insecurity urged governments at all levels to step up efforts in rejigging rural economy to boost the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) .
“The council appeals to governments at all levels to alleviate the suffering of Nigerians by developing the informal sector of the economy; boost local manufactures and encourage rural economy, ” it added.
Meanwhile, the group has decried the alleged exclusion and non extension of invitation to Igbo Muslim groups in the zone to major fora where Igbo agenda were being discussed.
” The council regrets non involvement and recognition of Igbo Muslim groups in the mainstream socio-cultural activities despite the contributions of muslim faithful from the zone in the economic and political development of the area.
“We call for the full involvement, inclusion and integration of Muslims from the zone in all the discussions on Igbo agenda,” the communique added.
The group further called on Nigerians irrespective of ethnic, religious and cultural divide to shun acts of violence, banditory, terrorism and all undemocratic activities that could affect the corporate existence of the country.
Recall that the erstwhile President of the Senate and former Secretary of the Federation, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim on weekend formerly declared interest to contest for the position of presidency.
Chief Anyim who made his interest known during his political party’s national convention at Abuja described his experience and enviable credentials as a public servant to be added advantage to retuning the country on its lost glory.
Also recall was that Ebonyi Elders Council recently projected the state governor for the position of the president after accessing his track records in infrastructural and human capital development.
Meanwhile, Dr Haroun Ogbonnia Aja, the convener of the meeting said that the SEMEC is non political but religious pressure group committed to enhancing Igbo unity, religious tolerance and economic development of the South-East zone.