The Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Kalu says he is not sure that Nigerians are ready for a president from the South-East geopolitical zone.
Kalu, a former governor of Abia State, said the February 25 presidential election is not the best outing for the Igbo people because the people of the South-East need the support of five other regions for one of their own to get to Aso Rock.
“It is not the best outing for us (Igbo people) because for you to become the President of Nigeria, you need other regions,” Kalu said on Wednesday.
There are a number of contestants of Igbo extractions among the 18 presidential candidates for this year’s election. However, Labour Party’s Peter Obi has been ranked as one of the three top candidates for Saturday’s poll.
However, Kalu, who is a senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Abia North Senatorial District dismissed the chances of Obi.
“I’m well-experienced; I ran for President in 2007 and I’m not sure Nigerians are yet ready for a President of Igbo extraction. I’m not sure because I have tried to nose around that. We have five other regions to come up with and I am not sure,” he said.
Kalu said the people of the South-East are the best professionals but not the best politicians.
“We do politics with emotions and I want Igbos to stop doing politics with emotions; I want Igbos to do practical politics,” he noted.
The lawmaker expressed confidence that APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu will win in Abia State and in the zone.
Kalu further said five aggrieved governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) known as the G5 or the Integrity Group will work for Tinubu’s ambition.
The G5 is made up of Governor Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu). They have been insistent that PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu steps down for a southern replacement as a precondition to support PDP flag bearer, Atiku Abubakar.
The five governors have not publicly announced their preferred candidate but Ortom expressed strong support for Obi of late.
However, Kalu said he doesn’t believe Ortom, insisting that the G5 will work for Tinubu.
“The G5 came together and they are working together and I don’t even believe the governor of Benue State, possibly, he just wants to use that (endorsement) to win an election because the G5, from inside sources, have made up their minds that they are not going to work for any other person than Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the APC,” the senator said.