By Enyichukwu Enemanna
Former President of the Nigerian Senate, Ken Nnamani has opened up on why he withdrew from the presidential race of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) saying the refusal of his party to adhere to zoning arrangement is responsible for his action.
He also pledged to give support for the emergence of a South East candidate.
Announcing his withdrawal from the race on Monday few hours to the official commencement of the election, Nnamani also alleged that the primary had been monetised by some serving political office holders and some party chieftains.
While expressing determination to ensure the emergence of any aspirant from the Southeast, he noted that “they have what it takes to move the country forward.
“The fact that leading northerners failed to indicate interest in the race convinced many of us that our party will thread the path of honour and justice by zoning its presidency to the south after a northern president has completed eight years.
“But the events of the recent day created the impression that zoning had been jettisoned in the APC.
“The vacillation of party leaders regarding zoning of the APC presidential ticket has not created clarity in the party and injures the confidence and faith of many in the south, particularly the southeast, in the party.
“It has the implication of suggesting to many in the party, including myself, that the party will allow conveniences of the moment to override foundational issues of justice and fairness.”
The former President of the Senate said that another issue that confused the process for the primary was the lack of certainty on schedules and timelines.
This uncertainty, he said, frustrated effective campaign and made the primary a game for those with deep pockets who are those mostly in control of state funds and those in political offices.
“And I am not in any of these groups.
“In the present circumstances, it does not make any sense for me to continue in the race, as I have not had the opportunity to market my profile and ideas to the delegates of our party in a manner that allows for deliberation and introspection.
“Therefore, I discontinue my aspiration and wish the party a successful primary and unity of purpose so that we can win the 2023 general elections.
“I will continue to engage with the party and its leadership to make sure that the ideas and values that I cherish and propagate find a strong footing in the party administration and in public leadership after the election.
“No matter the outcome of the primary, I pray that our party does justice to the southeast that ought to present the next presidential candidate of our party,” he said.