The member representing Mbaise/Ngor-Okpalla Federal Constituency of Imo State, Rep. Bede Eke at the weekend canvassed for the conceding of the 2023 Presidency to the South-East zone of the country in the spirit of justice, enquiry and fair play, TRIBUNE reports.
Speaking with newsmen in Abuja over the weekend, the lawmaker was of the view that the arrangement would also put an end to the clamouring for the Republic of Biafra under whatever guise by the people of the region.
According to him, “on the continued agitations for South-East presidency in 2023, yes, we want it. I am of the opinion that we should be given a chance. Talk about the late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Aguyi Itonsi; we have not been given a chance since the independence.
“We talk about three geopolitical zones in the country; Hausa, Yoruba have had their chances but what about the Igbo? Even if only the marginalisation we are crying, why don’t you give it to us?
“If we have the slot of being the president of Nigeria, that will go a long way. If you can give us the presidency of Nigeria, it will address this problem of people clamouring for Biafra.
“We are all equal before God, no region or zone is superior to one another, we should be given a sense of belonging in the scheme of things, we have qualified materials to occupy that position.”
This came just as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmaker called on the National Assembly to impose age limits on presidential candidates in the future presidential elections in the country as a follow up to the new “Not Too Young Act” recently signed into law by President Muhammad Buhari.
Rep Eke who disclosed that he would introduce a Bill in this Ninth National Assembly for an Act to block people in their 70s and above, from running for the office of the president in future elections to allow for younger people to take an active part in the governance of the country.
He assured Nigerians that when the National Assembly eventually proposes amendments to the Nigerian constitution, he would be leading the debate for a ‘Too Old to Run Bill’.
The lawmaker explained that the legislation, which would be an amendment to the ‘Not Too Young to Run’ law, will bar persons from 70 – 80 years from contesting the presidency and help elevate younger people to the presidency of the country.
According to him, “since Nigerians celebrated the ‘Not Too Young to Run’ bill, the country should also introduce ‘Too Old to Run’, bill, when you look at events now; look at other countries, when you look at France; let’s see if we can get young vibrant men to lead this country.
“It is a personal decision and that is my opinion – get a man so advanced; you cannot tell me what a man of somebody in his 50s, whether early 50s or late 50s, can do, a man in his 80s can do the same thing. It is not possible! This is nature
“That is an area I should be looking at. If you get to an age, you should not be bothering to rule
“If it sails through, that is it! If we now say once you are 80, you should not run for president; when you are 70 or 80. It is not targeted at anybody, but we want fresh blood. We want to inject fresh blood,” he stressed.
Speaking on the frantic efforts of the Imo State Governor, Hon Emeka Ihedioha to retrieve government properties from the officials of the immediate past administration of Senator Rochas Okorocha, the lawmaker stated that the governor was on the right track going by the sterling revelations and discoveries coming out from the panel.
According to him, “it is not true that the governor is out to witch-hunt anybody, if you know that you have government properties in your possession through illegal ways, you must be ready to face the panel and not be weeping up sentiments, Imo State people are proud of what the governor is doing, very soon people will continue to be seeing physically the good work he is doing for the state.”
He also canvassed for more devolution of powers from the centre to the states, saying, “for me, people talk about the devolution of powers, maybe that will help us succeed in making sure that we reduce the power at the centre.”
He also stressed the need to introduce state police, to compliment the federal police and ensure better security of lives and property.