BusinessDay

2023: Why S/east APC presidential aspirants can’t reach consensus – Nwajiuba

Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, a presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), said the south-east contenders for the exalted position do not want to arrive at a consensus for one of them to emerge so that Nigerians can have an avalanche of choices.

Nwajiuba, who is the immediate past minister of state for education, gave this indication at an interactive session with select journalists in Abuja on Monday.

The former lawmaker while speaking on the sidelines of the meeting of South-east presidential aspirants on Sunday said they provided the APC and Nigerians with people of all status to choose a candidate to take over from President Muhamadu Buhari.

He said: “The South/east does not want to reach a consensus. The South-east wants to work with Nigerians. In fact, we were very disappointed, we thought about 10 to 20 people from the south-east will buy the forms so that we can make a case. When you are making a case, you can’t make it with one way, let all of us come out; men, women and say yes we believe in Nigeria.

“We have only seven aspirants and that is very small but I am sure out of this seven, we have those in their seventies, we have those in their sixties, we have those in their fifties. We have every type you need. Nigeria must have the full breadth of Igbo diversity. Any type you need Igbo people have it. So what we said yesterday was that anyone you choose we are going to back him or her.”

Nwajiuba said he was in the race to bring social order in the system and change the way things are done in the economic and other spheres.

According to him, “part of why I am running is because I am trying to bring some sense of social order to our polity. Let’s not run away with the belief that our country has totally collapsed. That it is no longer a country of laws, or a country of rules, that there is no more moral, there is no more order.

“All economies are social based. You have to know the sociological content of an area to be able to decide what to sell to them and what they can produce. There is no point continuing the way we are and expect that we will survive.

“Just hearing that dollars will be shared; just knowing that there is a convention coming in the past few weeks, the dollar has jumped by 12%. We are now at 607 because every Tom, Dick, Harry who has access to any allocation, whether local government allocation, contract is changing it to dollar to head up to the convention because we thought there will be 7800 delegates. So all the big men with big money bought up all the dollars.

“When I was running for Governor in Imo in 2023 I published a pamphlet. Every economic plan you can just expand it but it will remain the same. If you produce or at least don’t produce, the only force on your production is determined by outside forces…I think we should have different ways of working.”

He said agitations for restructuring should be centered on governance, hence the borders of Nigeria are known and are defined and accepted internationally in the world, adding that since 1999 the “Nigerian Constitution is a restructured constitution”.

Read also: APC: Igbo presidential aspirants to support any candidate from S/East

“I ask if there is something a state does with its citizens other than service and tax. That is how citizens and states relate. Is there anything you would like to do in Nigeria that the law says you can not do?” Nwajiuba queried.

On consensus, the presidential hopeful stated that: “I already said it is not possible to win an election without the consent of everybody. So why will I say I can only win if I am the most powerful.

“So whatever consensus my party agrees to, if they give me good for them and Nigeria. If they don’t give me whoever they give, they just decide that this is what we have to offer. That is my understanding of what we are doing.”

While agreeing that politics or election is heavily monetised, Nwajiuba expressed hope that as Buhari won without having money, he is presenting himself to be chosen by Nigerians.

“I am not saying I can buy. I am not being sponsored by the oil industry. So the only people who can sponsor me are Nigerians. There are 3150 people who made contributions and we bought these forms.

“So, I know that if Nigerians are willing, once my party selects me, APC will be speaking to 90% of the demographics of Nigeria, speaking to the 70% who are below 50 who believe if it is possible to vote somebody who is 55 is hope for them.

“Right now Nigerians are sure this is where they can get the most efficacious drug (leader) and this is what I am providing. I know that that is what I am up to and that is what APC will be offering Nigerians if they take me as their candidate.”

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