Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State has hinted that there is no need to start talking about the zoning of the presidential seat ahead of 2023 since the position of President Muhammadu Buhari is not yet vacant.
Uzodinma spoke on Tuesday, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, after a meeting to seek the assistance of President Buhari on his state matters, especially the challenge of erosion and to thank him for the ongoing projects in the South-East geo-political zone.
The governor said since Nigeria practised partisan democracy and not tribal democracy, it was the job of political parties to determine the factors to consider in the choice of presidential candidates.
Asked his view on the position of Senator Orji Uzor-Kalu that any person could contest the presidential ticket on the APC platform as it didn’t recognise zoning despite agitation in the South-East zone to produce the president come 2023, Uzodinma said: “You know the position is not vacant now, there is a sitting president and we are practising partisan democracy and not tribal democracy.
“So, the emergence of presidential candidate will come on party by party basis, not tribe by tribe basis.
“But if there are other internal factors that will form part of the considerations for parties taking a decision, of course, that will be entirely the job of the leadership of those political parties and I think that is the right thing to do.”
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Uzodinma, while responding to the question on his current relationship with former governor Rochas Okorocha, said: “On the issue of Okorocha, the former governor is my brother, my very good brother in whom I am well pleased.
“I have no issue with him, the only thing is that he is now the former governor and I am now the current governor.
“Once we understand that, we don’t have any issue.”
He expressed optimism on the chance of the APC in the coming Imo North Senatorial District by-election in view of the new entrants and the growth of the party in the South-East geo-political zone.
The governor also said with the completion of the automation of the pension process in the state, pensioners would heave a sigh of relief.