Senator Ebenezer Ikeyina, a former lawmaker who represented Anambra Central at the Senate, has said that the recent visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Imo State, one of the states in the South-East region, must have given him the opportunity to see first-hand, the level of neglect and marginalization of the region and encourage him to support the aspiration of the zone to take a shot at the Presidency in 2023.
The Senator, in an exclusive chat with The Nation during the week, insisted that the region is not asking for something special from the government of President Buhari, but instead, the people of the southeastern region are only asking that they be given what is due them. He posited that region’s quest for presidency is based on the belief that it will help address its obvious marginalization over the years.
“It is very clear to everyone that the South-East region is neglected and even the blind can feel it. We know that everyone is concerned about the insecurity in the country. I must add that it is good for the government to consider giving everyone a sense of belonging. When people are not happy, it has the capacity to generate all kinds of animosity, including the clamour for secession. I am a 100 percent advocate of one united Nigeria but it can only be achieved in an atmosphere of justice and peace,” he said.
Ikeyina said that even though there were mixed reactions to last Thursday’s visit of the President to the region, the most important thing should be that having visited and had meeting with the leaders in the region, it is expected that the outcome of the visit and the meetings should be such that benefit the people and bring lasting peace and development to the zone.
“We have got to the point where we can no longer play politics with the South-East issue, especially as it concerns taking its rightful position. It is expected that the major political parties in the country will zone the presidential tickets of their various platforms to the South and South-East region in particular,” Senator Ikeyina said.