By Mike Ubani
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South-East zone, Comrade Chinedu Ogah, yesterday expressed disappointment at the conduct of some notable politicians and a diplomat from the region whom he claimed worked against the interest of President Muhammadu Buhari, before and during the February 23 Presidential/National Assembly elections.
Consequently, he said the APC might not be predisposed to cede the presidency to an Igbo in 2023.
Ogah who was APC House of Representatives candidate for Ikwo/Ezza South federal constituency of Ebonyi state in the just concluded general elections, told The AUTHORITY in an interview that some prominent Igbo politicians reneged on their promise to mobilize the electorate in the area to vote massively for the APC presidential candidate in the election.
He alleged that even the Nigerian ambassador to a Southern American country (name withheld) from the zone, campaigned publicly for the election of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He explained that the affected politicians promised President Buhari that they would work for his electoral victory if he accepted to remain neutral during the general elections.
The APC chieftain said that while Buhari kept his promise not to interfere with the elections, the same political elite from the region mobilized the electorate to vote against the APC presidential candidate.
President Buhari polled only 403,968 votes in the five South-East states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo during the 2019 presidential election.
This is, however, an improvement from the total number of votes he secured from the zone in 2015, which was put at 198,248.
But Ogah said the electoral progress made by President Buhari in the South-East this time around, was not sufficient to earn the zone the presidential ticket of the party in 2023.
He said: “The votes recorded for President Buhari in the South-East are not enough for us to demand that an Igbo should be made president on the platform of APC in 2023.
“Don’t forget that a ranking senator from the zone led a delegation to Mr. President, and they promised that they will deliver him in the South-East if he supported them to win their elections, yet at the end of the day, they disappointed him.
“Do you know that even a serving Nigerian Ambassador who hails from the South-East, worked against President Buhari? He was busy before and during the election telling the electorate to vote for Atiku Abubakar. But when he noticed that Buhari was winning, he ran away.
“You can see that we are not ready for a Nigerian president from Igbo extraction come 2023 based on our attitude to Mr. President and the APC.”
Comrade Ogah said the president garnered 20,796 votes in Ikwo alone, making the area stand out as the highest contributor to the 403,968 votes he secured in the South-East zone.
He maintained that he won the House of Representatives election in Ikwo/Ezza South federal constituency, but alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) rigged the election in favour of the candidate of the PDP.
Ogah expressed confidence that he will reclaim his mandate at the tribunal.