2023: Parade Of APC Presidential Hopefuls As EFCC Battles Kalu

By Lateef Adegbite

 In spite of the fact that Professor Mahmood Yakubu, led Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has not blown the whistle for the start of the 2023, general elections, Desperate Nigerian Politicians, from the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, who want to replace President Muhammadu Buhammadu Buhari, a retired Army general at all cost, have made the Presidential Villa, their Mecca, to solicit  Buhari’s support.

 Ever since Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the National Leader of the APC, described as a  Kingmaker in political circles, visited the Katsina  state born Nigerian President on Monday, January 10, 2022, to intimate him of his  presidential ambition  on the ticket of the APC, in the 2023, general elections, following the his  Statement that he will not reveal’’ the identity of the person who will replace him  for his safety’’, it had  opened  the flood gate for APC gladiators to show interest on the Seat.

 This time, the interested APC Candidates are coming from the south east geo-political region. One of them is Dave Umahi, AN Engineer and the  governor of the south east state of Eboyi, who  had decamped from the Opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, to the ruling APC, in November 2020. Many see him as a political ally of the retired Army General which he had confirmed. Note that he has been very vocal over the years on the next Nigerian President coming from the south east region.

Tinubu: National Leader Of APC, And Presidential Hopefuls

Following on the footsteps of Tinubu, the former Lagos state governor, popular, the Jagaban, on Tuesday, January 11, 2022,  Umahi, the Eboyi  state governor had visited the Villa to hold a meeting with the Nigerian President, to finally intimate him of his interest to run for the Presidency on the Platform of the  APC, in 2023.

Exuding confidence, when he emerged from the meeting at the Villa, after the meeting with the Katsina state born Nigerian President the Eboyi state governor, had told the Journalists who had laid ambush for him of his Presidential ambition. Umahi, who is the Chairman, of the southeast Governors’ Forum, who did not hesitate to tell his interviewers that he knows’’ the President’s ‘’heartbeat for the country and understands his programmes, policies and integrity and has vowed to continue from where he had not stopped as the next Nigerian President ‘’if the party zons it to the south east and he is given the opportunity to contest the election.

Umahi: Governor Of Eboyi State, hopeful Of Becoming APC pResidential Candidate If Zone To South East Region

    Given reasons why he wants to aspire to be Nigerian’s next President, the Eboyi state born politician stated that he has the capacity and would want to replicate the economic miracles in the state at national level. Hear him:  the country is passing through a phase and I believe strongly that the miracles God has helped us to do in Eboyi state if given the opportunity could be replicated at the national level. He further stated that he intends ‘’to bring a business-like spirit into governance in the country’’.

He may have taken advantage of his interest to run for the 2023 Presidency and subsequently win the support of the people of south east that he had canvassed for’’ political solution to the security challenges confronting the region’’.The question on the lips of most people was why the sudden change of mind of the Eboyi state governor to contest the 2023 general Presidential elections when he knew that the  that the region do not stand a chance.

  He had said in an interviews with Channels Television last August that ‘’the chances of the south east region producing Nigerian’s President under the APC is in the hands of God’’.  

Kalu: APC South East Senate Chief Whip, Eying The 2023 Presidency

Another south east APC Chieftain that have declared his interest for the 2023 Presidency on the ticket of the ruling APC is Orji Uzor Kalu, a former governor of Abia state and the Senate Chief Whip. In declaring his Presidential ambition, the APC Chief Whip had visited the Nigerian President at the villa like the party National Leader, Tinubu and Umahi, the governor of Eboyi state had done to intimate him of his interest to contest the 2023 general elections on the ticket of the APC.

The former Abia governor believes that the south east is ‘’ripe for the Presidency and that it should be the turn of the region to produce the next Nigerian President’. He may have told those that cares to listen that ‘’Tinubu’s, aspiration  of the contesting the 2023  general elections  would not have any effect  on the next President of Nigeria coming from the Igbo area’’.  

He had said that he is waiting for the party which is supreme to endorse him. While Tinubu had said that the retired Army General did not prevail on him not to pursue his Presidential ambition, which he had said was a ‘’life- long affair’’, Kalu who believes that it is the turn of the south east to produce, the country’s next President, had said that the south west, south-south and north west geopolitical regions had produced the President and the country’s Vice President at different times since the return of Democracy in 1999.

He may have seen himself as a south east favourite presidential Candidate on the ticket of the APC, going by his Statement that that he has asked him ‘’to seek the support of the people’’. Kalu, who could not hide his feelings had said that he is ‘’the most prepared of all the APC Presidential Candidates for the 2023 general elections. ‘’am capable health wise, as a person, in my pocket and can face anybody’’, he had remarked.

The APC Presidential hopefuls had said that ‘’contesting the Presidential election was not the issue but the issue is who is going  t lead  the country into economic miracle, into a turnaround’’.  There are indications that Rochas Okorocha, a former governor  of Imo state and a Senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria, and other APC Chieftains from the region who are still studying the political situation  may soon declare interest  to contest the  2023 , general elections , which  may narrow the region’s chances of clinching the party ticket.

 Many believe that the duo, who have already declared their interest to contest the 2023 general elections may have been encouraged to do so because the retired Army General and APC leader had said that ‘’the south east should produce the next President of Nigeria in 2023, to among other things ‘’ensure equity, natural justice good Conscience and end the civil war activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB’’.  

But Kalu, the former Abia governor may have read the handwriting on the wall that the Abdulrasheed Bawa, led Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, may play the spoiler’s role for his 2023 Presidential ambition   over an alleged N7.1 billion fraud hanging on his neck and SLOK,a Company floated by him, which had been wound up  and Udeagu, a former Director of Finance  and Accounts in Abia state government,  that he had approached an Abuja High Court  last September.

 He had pleaded with the Court   to force the EFCC’’ to remove his name from the N7.1 billion fraud levelled against him by the Commission. He knew, that until his name was removed from the N7.1 billion fraud list, his 2023, Presidential ambition may not be realised.  He may have had his way as t as an Abuja Federal High Court had ordered the EFCC ‘’not to retry the former Abia state governor on the N7.1 billion fraud.

 But the Commission was not ready to take it as it had appealed against the Abuja Federal High Court Judgment .The Commission had argued  that the trial Judge  was wrong , stressing that ‘’ the Court failed  ‘’to consider  the decisions of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal cited before it delivered its’ Judgment.

 The Commission noted that the autrefois convict, is only applicable to the decision delivered by a Court of  Competent jurisdiction’’.The EFCC may have given the Abia Senator a breather that he had rekindled his Presidential ambition believing that if the ruling APC  zones the ticket to the south east in  the2023 general elections, he will grab it.            

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *