From =Everest Ezihe, Owerri
There are strong indications that the race for the 2023 presidential ticket may divide leaders of the All Progressive Congress, APC in the South East considering the jostling body language of most of their big wigs.
Political pundits in the zone have realized that this is why it has become almost impossible for leaders of the party to strategize ahead of the 2023 presidential election in the face of fierce agitation for the Presidency by the South West and South-South.
The last gathering of the region’s party leaders was held last Thursday in Owerri, Imo State capital where they harped on the need to restructure the party and restore its glory in the region ahead of the November 6th 2021 governorship election in Anambra State and 2023 general elections respectively.
The AUTHORITY Newspaper has authoritatively gathered that most of the leaders and chieftains of the party in the South East are either nursing Presidential or Vice Presidential ambitions and this could be the reason why most of the party leaders could be said not be on the same page.
Though the APC is yet to zone its presidential ticket, there are strong indications that the South may get the nod to produce the party’s presidential candidate, since the North is expected to produce the National Chairman of the party at its national convention scheduled to hold in June.
There are speculations that most of the APC leaders in the South East such as former Governor of Abia State and Senate Chief Whip, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, former Imo State Governor, Senator Rochas Okorocha, Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, are suspected to be nursing serious presidential ambition.
Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, is also said to be interested in the presidential contest. A group, Project Nigeria is drumming support for him to aspire for the Presidency in 2023.
Former Governor Rochas Okorocha has gone step further to set up campaign structures across the country to oil his presidential ambition.
If feelers that Governor Hope Uzodimma may join the race for the Presidency in 2023 is anything to go by,then it may deepen his existing feud with Senator Rochas Okorocha
It was also observed that most South East APC leaders were absent at the one year in office celebration of Governor Uzodimma except Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State who was present alongside seven APC Governors, including Vice President Yemi Osibnajo. They have also suspiciously remained mute in ongoing altercations between Governor Uzodimma and Senator Rochas Okorocha.
A political analyst, Kennedy Anyasodor said “the 2023 presidential contest may divide APC leaders in the South East because almost all of them judging by their body language are very much interested in the contest.
“And if this scenario persists and the APC eventually zone the presidential ticket to the South, then we can imagine what will happen among the leaders the party in the South East. If everyone wants to go the market, who will stay at home”he asked
However, with His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the immediate past President of the nation officially joining APC last weekend the Presidential aspirants may be in for a political torpedo.