A political pressure group, South-East Mandate rose from its meeting in Enugu, weekend, announcing plans to ensure that the zone presents an acceptable candidate for the 2023 presidential election.
Convener of the Group, Senator Julius Ucha made the disclosure while addressing journalists after its National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting.
The group, made up of mostly stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, from the region, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to facilitate the process of APC nominating their presidential candidate from a trusted member of the party of south east extraction.
Ucha identified trust, latent fear, suspicion and prejudice as key issues holding the South-East down in Nigeria political equation
â€œWe decided to work on them. At what point will a leader in Nigeria see a Southeasterner as one he can hand over to on trust?
â€œAt what point will a sitting President in Nigeria trust a Southeasterner to hand over power to him?
â€œAnd we ask, how are we going to work hard as a pressure group to convince Nigerians to trust us, what shall we do to erase this latent fear about us?
â€œHow will Southeast Mandate operate to erase the prejudices against us, what shall we do as a people to obliterate the suspicion against us?â€ He queried.
The former Chairman, Senate Committee on Works said the group would persuade the people of South-East extraction who have presidential ambition â€œfor them to see the need of coming together to present a candidate that will be generally acceptable and has the capacity to drive the process.
â€œAny group working towards the actualization of Nigeria President of South-East extraction, we are in synergy with them.
â€œEvery political party in Nigeria is aware that South-East is ripe for the presidency, we are talking of justice, we are talking of equity, everyone who has conscience knows that South-East is a solid part of Nigeria and it should have the opportunity to have the presidency of this country.â€
Also in attendance at the meeting were Sen Tony Agbo, Dcn. Ideato C. Ideato Okoli, the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Enugu APC, Dr. Ben Nwoye and a host of other dignitaries from across the South East states.