National Chairman of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Chief Audu Ogbeh, has charged South East politicians to begin serious lobbying for the presidency ahead of the 2023 general elections, if they actually desire the nation’s top job.
Ogbeh advised that resorting to intimidation, blackmail and socio-political threats might not give Ndigbo the presidency.
He also pointed out that management of political parties in the country had been debased and hopeless, insisting that political parties had abandoned their constitutional responsibilities of holding elected leaders accountable.
Ogbeh stated this yesterday, while speaking with journalists after a condolence visit to the family of the late General Inuwa Wushishi (rtd.), a founding member of ACF, who died last week.
He recalled his days with the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN), saying: “I was National Chairman of PDP and we used to engage the President at the party level and asked him to account for governance. We did the same to our governors.
“Party management is hopelessly low in Nigeria and unless political parties are accountable to the people, the country will not have good governance.”
He reminded Ndigbo that democracy encourages political office seekers to be friendly and reach out widely to stakeholders across the country to win their support, adding: “We advise that if the South East people want to get the presidency in 2023, they should begin to lobby, go round the country and engage the people across board.
“But we see so much hatred and attacks, especially on social media about the 2023 presidency. Nobody has approached us to say that he wants to contest, but we will support any political party of their choice because we need peace in this country.
“We won’t endorse people who cannot do the job, because if we make bad choice, Nigerians will suffer for it.
But the ACF is not a political party. However, we desire peace and harmony across the country ahead of the 2023 general elections,” he stated.
On insecurity, particularly in the North, Ogbeh, who is former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, said: “This is barbarism. We are depressed, concerned and sad. In most cases, we told governments at all levels what to do to check insecurity and where we have opportunity, we made recommendations.”
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