‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja


Daily Courier – The former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, has announced his decision to step down from the presidential race and primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) over what he described as jettisoning of the zoning arrangement of the party.

Nnamani also alleged that the primary has been monetized by some serving political office holders and, and some party chieftains.

He said he supports the emergence of aspirants from the South East, noting that they have what it takes to move the country forward.

He said the clear understanding of party members is that the Presidential Candidate of the party will come from the south and only aspirants from the zone will vie for the office.

“This is a logical follow-up to the outcome of the National Convention. The statements of party leaders confirmed this general perception.

“In the initial weeks after the announcement of the timetable for the election and commencement of sale of forms, the belief that APC would zone its presidential ticket to the south continued because only southerners purchased forms, except the notable exception of Gov. Yahaya Bello.

“The fact that leading northerners failed to indicate interest in the race convinced many of us that our party will thread the path of honour and justice by zoning its presidency to the south after a northern president has completed eight years under the party platform.

“But the events of the recent day created the impression that zoning had been jettisoned in the APC.

“The vacillation of party leaders regarding zoning of the APC presidential ticket has not created clarity in the party and injures the confidence and faith of many in the south, particularly the southeast, in the party.

“It has the implication of suggesting to many in the party, including myself, that the party will allow conveniences of the moment to override foundational issues of justice and fairness. Considering the events of the recent past, all well-meaning Nigerians must reaffirm faith in the constitutional values of justice and fairness.

“These values are what will sustain our democracy as we confront the headwinds of pluralism and sectarianism. We should never allow short-term political advantages to override these values.

He commended the eleven Governors from the north for what he described as the intelligence and the courage to speak out in defence of zoning the APC presidential ticket to the south.

He said the gesture, though belated, is an example of statesmanship in times of anxiety.

He, therefore, said “in the present circumstances, it does not make any sense for me to continue in the race as I have not had the opportunity to market my profile and ideas to the delegates of our party in a manner that allows for deliberation and introspection.

“Therefore, I discontinue my aspiration and wish the party a successful primary and unity of purpose so that we can win the 2023 general elections.

“I will continue to engage with the party and its leadership to make sure that the ideas and values that I cherish and propagate find a strong footing in the party administration and in public leadership after the election.

“No matter the outcome of the primary, I pray that our party does justice to the southeast that ought to present the next presidential candidate of our party. I would be glad if any of my colleagues from the southeast vying for the office wins the primary.’