Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi says it will be difficult for the people of the South-East zone to continue voting for people who would not vote for candidates from the zone during elections.
The governor made the declaration on Friday in Abakaliki during a meeting between visiting President Muhammadu Buhari and leaders of the zone in Abakaliki.
Umahi said that it was wrong for the southern part of the country to clamour for equity and fairness on the issue of presidency when it could not replicate such within its fold.
“The South producing the presidency is a moral question which should be answered by its components.
“I thank a leader of the Middle Belt Forum and Chief Ayo Adebanjo from the South-West, as well as Chief Edwin Clark from the South-South over their views on a South-East president.
“The South-East should produce the president, if other zones of the South are truly seeking for equity, fairness and justice,” he said.
The governor noted that political considerations were applied in ensuring that the South-West zone produced the president in 1999.
“When it comes to our turn — whatever wrong we have committed — the same political consideration should be applied, to ensure equity and fairness.
“It will be difficult for the South-East to continually be short-changed and continue voting for those who cannot vote for us,” he said.
Umahi joined other leaders of the zone to appeal for the release of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra’s leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
“I have never been in support of the group’s activities and the president granted my appeal for a political situation towards his release.
“I want the Ohaneze Ndigbo Socio-cultural Organisation to shun the politicisation of the process and immediately consult relevant stakeholders and Kanu’s lawyer for it to commence,” he said.
He thanked Buhari for the visit and noted that he would still be invited to inaugurate more projects of the administration.
Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, a First Republic minister, informed the audience that he was the surviving official of that era and begged the president to grant his request towards ensuring peace in the South-East zone.
“I seek to be given the mandate to negotiate peace in the zone because I desire such before I join my ancestors,” he said.
Prof. George Obiozor, President of Ohaneze Ndigbo said that the Igbo would always crave for a united Nigeria which would accord them equity and justice.
Obiozor, represented by Chief Peter Aneke, pleaded with the president to graciously direct the release of Kanu and other youths incarcerated for their agitations, to ensure peace in the zone.
Several leaders of the zone also joined in the call for Kanu’s release, as the meeting concluded the president’s two-day official visit to the state.