A member of the All Progressives Congress, APC representing Ehime Mbano/Ihite Uboma/Obowo Federal Constituency in Imo Sate, Hon. Chike Okafor, has condemned the APC for what he perceived as discrimination of South East party House Members.
According to a press statement issued by the lawmaker, the South East APC House or representative members nominated him for the post of Deputy Majority Whip, but was overran by the APC hierarchy.
He recounted the several efforts of South East APC party faithfuls who “fought against stupendous odds” to see their beloved party entrenched at the centre of governance.
He, therefore, urged the party “to review its definition of inclusiveness and rethink its perception and treatment of the South East zone.”
Part of the statement reads: “You may recall that the South East APC had nominated me for the post of Deputy Majority Whip; a nomination that was duly accepted by the presiding officers of the House of Representatives.
“As you already know, the final position is that the South East is the only geopolitical zone that is excluded from the leadership caucus in the house of representative while one zone occupies two plum positions.
“This is the first time we are having this scenario since 1999. On principle, I accept the outcome of that session in good faith and sincerely congratulate the new leadership of the House as presently constituted.
“However in view of the realities so vividly pictured in the process of constituting the leadership of the National Assembly, I am constrained to plead with our great party the All Progressive Congress to review its definition of inclusiveness and rethink its perception and treatment of the South East zone.
“If indeed our ideology of leadership involves, even in the minutest way, the integration of every section of our country Nigeria, then our pontification on Federal Character should go beyond lip service and rhetorics to the practical embrace of every section of the country in the spirit of the change we have promised.
“A number of persons hold the erroneous view that the APC did not have a good outing in the Southeast but every sincere Nigerian that understands the politics of the region, can attest that the party in the Southeast fought against stupendous odds and the statistics are there to prove it. Needless to mention that the region has been a stronghold of PDP since 1999.
“Recall that in 2011, the Southeast states under the sway of the PDP were posting an average of 1 million votes per state which largely turned the table in favour of former President Goodluck Jonathan but in the last election, PDP in the Southeast states merely managed a paltry average that is less than half a million votes due to the efforts of the APC faithfuls in the region.
“In that election, APC in the Southeast exhibited the highest level of courage, doggedness and fierce loyalty to the party; in most cases to the point of risking their lives.
“As a matter of fact, if we had allowed the PDP to re-enact the feat of 2011, the story would have been different today.
“Hence, the national leadership of our party should not continue to place the Southeast on the fringes in the scheme of things. As far as the Nigerian project is concerned, every region must count if we must get it right.
“All the same, I wish to place on record, the dogged efforts of His Excellency, Governor Rochas Okorocha towards ensuring that the Southeast in that instance was not shortchanged in line with the Federal Character provisions of the constitution.
“Evidently, his efforts and pleas fell on deaf ears. And the reason is simple: Each time there’s crisis or any form of instability in the country, it is always the South East and Ndigbo that make sacrifices to bring stability.”

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