APC, PDP should zone presidency to South-East – DIG Udah | NN NEWS

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Retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Azubuko Udah, is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC). In this interview with NGOZI UWUJARE, he speaks on the 2023 presidential election and urges the two major political parties – APC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to zone their presidential candidates to the South East. He also speaks on other issues as they affect the APC and the country.

Recently, Chief Edwin Clark urged the political parties to zone their presidential candidates to the South East and that the South East should produce the  next president for the country. What is your position on this?

That is a fantastic suggestion. The APC, which is my party, should ensure justice by zoning the presidential ticket to the South East. We are expecting the PDP also to do the same. It happened in 1999, when the two major presidential candidates – Chief Olu Falae and Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, both from the South West, were the presidential candidates. So we want a situation where both APC and the PDP will do the same and ensure genuine reconciliation and bring about the happiness of everybody in the country. They should know that what the elder statesman has said is full of wisdom and with the benefit of hindsight on how Nigeria should be. For the sake of equity and fairness, the South East deserves to produce the next president.

What are the qualities you expect from the next president and what should be his priorities?

We need somebody who understands Nigeria’s diversity. A person that understands economics.  Somebody who can grow the country’s economy. Upon all, he should have the fear of God.  To answer the second aspect of your question, the next Nigerian President should continue to tackle the issue of economy, issue of insecurity and the issue of fighting corruption. He should build our economy in such a way that we will not be importing things that we can produce. He should also continue the growth of our infrastructure.

How will you counsel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the 2023 elections approach?

INEC has been doing well. They should continue the good work. If somebody is doing well, he should continue to do well. I call on the Federal Government, the state government and the local government as well as all Nigerians to support INEC as it is preparing to give us a credible election in 2023.  We must not only support them, we must pray for them.  With the trajectory we have been seeing, we know the top hierarchy are progressive people especially with the introduction of electronic transmission of results. The world is moving fast and we should not be left out. The  impact of digitalisation on our electoral system is going to be huge. INEC had demonstrated its good intentions with the performance of its officials in the 2020 governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States as well as the 2021 governorship election in Anambra. They have also demonstrated excellent performance in the various bye elections across the country.

As a retired DIG, what advice do you have for the security agencies as we progressed into election early next year?

I will advise that they should put in their best. Internally the Inspector General of Police should pass the message down to the DIGs, AIGs, the Commissioners because they all have individual roles to play in the success of the election. Other security agencies like the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Army should also be encouraged to put in their best. All the security agencies that will participate in the election should be adequately mobilised. They should also be given re-orientation.

President Muhammadu Buhari will hand over the affairs of the nation next year. What are your words to him?

My advice to him is that he should do everything to support INEC for the coming election. I expect him to also sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill on time. That is my first advice.

The second advice will be on his fatherly role for those that are in his party and those that are not in his party. He must complete and commission all the projects he has started, so that he would leave behind a country that has peace. He should also prepare a good ground for the success of whoever will succeed him.

What is your advice to those planning the APC Convention?

My advice to them is that they must not disappoint us. Everybody is looking forward to the convention and it will be good if they organise it very well, just like the way the other rival party did. Members of the party should be united. What we are trying to do now is to get ourselves  together. Let us put everything well together and our members should act like people of the same family at the convention. We should shun crises and remain united.

Our convention should be organised like a carnival. We should not be at war with ourselves. We need peace and I think the planning committee should do what they can to make the APC convention a huge success.

What is your message to the APC stalwarts in your state, Abia?

We want APC in Abia State to be one. They should know that the reconciliation committee has submitted its report and the entire Caretaker Committee members are working together to ensure that peace returns to the party. The report on Abia State has been submitted and all the crème de la crème in the APC in Abia State should unite to win the state. We should not let it be like what happened in the Anambra State governorship election  where the party didn’t do well in the election. We should also rally round our leader, the Senate Chief Whip, Dr Orji Kalu. He is our leader and we should accord him all due respect.

(The Sun)

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