2023: Gowon’s support for South-east presidency commendable- Okechukwu 






A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr Ostia Okechukwu, has commended General Yakubu Gowon, for backing the South-east for the 2023 presidency.

In an interview with the Hausa Service of the BBC in commemoration of the  50th anniversary of the end of the civil war,  Gowon had said there was no problem if power shifted to the South-East in 2023.

He was the leader of the country during the war which ended in 1970.

But responding in an interview, Okechukwu said that the ex-Head of State’s position was inspiring.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain said, “I commend our elder statesman General Yakubu Gowon (retd.) for his support for power shift to the South-East in 2023.

“In league with others, one pledges that  a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction will engender unity, harmony, equity and natural justice in our dear fatherland.

“Indeed the goal of unity was achieved without doubt by this model of rotation of  the presidency from  the South to North – the Falae/Obasanjo Model – which not only featured in 1999, although governed the 2007 and 2015 presidential elections outcome.”

Okechukwu  said Gowon  had always  placed  national interest above pecuniary interest.

The VON DG said, “The rotation or zoning convention was founded by patriots who placed national interest above self-interest, not  the PDP (Peoples Democratic Party).  The PDP was just a beneficiary as the contest in 1999 was between the defunct AD/APP (Alliance for Democracy/All Peoples Party) alliance.

“Please one is not saying that the rotation convention is the only position best in the democratic horizon, but as Gowon noted, one of the best and a solution provider.”

He added,  “I stand with Gowon that rotation is the ligament that holds the various tendencies together, gives a sense of belonging, especially when all the geopolitical zones have highly  qualified men and women.

 “For the avoidance of doubt,  rotation was well perfected in 1999, with the Falae/Obasanjo model and since then, the presidency has rotated between the South and North.

“The South-East is the only geopolitical zone in the southern belt that has not presided over Nigeria since 1999 when the zoning convention commenced.

“It is with nostalgia that one recalls when Olusola Saraki, Abubakar Rimi, Umaru Shinkafi, Adamu Ciroma, Alex Ekwueme of blessed memory and a host of other northerners and southerners like Ogbonnaya Onu, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu were persuaded not to run.

“These eminently qualified personalities were prevailed upon by Nigerian patriots to sacrifice their presidential ambitions for unity, peace and justice, hence the beginning of the zoning convention.”

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