Play national politics, APC chieftain tells South-East politicians

South East States.fw

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Hakeem Bamgbala, says politicians of South East extraction must learn to play inclusive politics if they hope to present an acceptable candidate for the presidency.

The Vice Chairman of APC Lagos Central made the assertion while fielding questions on how the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, plans to rally the support of political leaders in the South East.

Bamgbala, who told Sunday PUNCH that the South East will not be left out in the build-up to the 2023 general elections, expressed concerns about the politics of exclusivity being practised in the region.

He said, “In as much as we equally want the presidency to go to the South East, most of their politicians are not playing national politics. This is why it works against them. They need to really be on the ground.

“For instance, when they were having the APC presidential primary, they could have presented a consensus aspirant and rallied around him. But they didn’t. In the end, it was even the delegation from the South East that worked against their nominations. Some of their delegates voted people from other regions.”

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 The APC chieftain said it was high time political leaders from the region changed their mindset by coming up with a formidable person for people to accept.

He added that only then can they be seen playing national politics.

“I think they need to put their house in order first. If they do and present a credible candidate, maybe we can look at it from that angle.

“But they always create division among themselves and everybody from the South East wants to be the president of Nigeria. It doesn’t work like that,” he said.

Bamgbala also applauded the leadership of the APC and the Progressive Governors Forum for having the courage to pick someone from the South for the presidential slot.

This is even as he knocked the Peoples Democratic Party for attempting to scuttle the unity of the country by jettisoning the rotation policy.

“There is no way you will have a Northerner for eight years and say you still want to retain it there. It shows a lack of unity between the North and South, which is exactly what the PDP has done by zoning it to the North again.

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“I encourage all Nigerians to rally round Asiwaju and ensure that the presidency returns to the South,” he said.

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