THE Conference of 2019 South East All Progressives Congress (APC) House of Assembly Candidates rose from a conference in Abuja, and demanded that the ruling party zone the deputy senate president position to the region, in order to resolve the leadership vacuum, as well as strengthen the party in the zone.

They specifically asked that the APC support the aspiration of former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, being “the only APC ranking senator-elect from the South East that has received his Certificate of Return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The Conference of Assembly candidates premised their demand on the party’s performance  in  Abia State, during the last elections.

In a statement signed by the Interim Publicity Secretary, Jude Okpor Chikadibia, the group demanded that the engine of the democratic vehicle of ‘next level’ must not be powered by the fuel of exclusion.

It posited that Igbo, as critical partners in the Nigerian project, should be given their rightful place on the decision making table of the country.

“We solicit that the 9th National Assembly leadership zoning formula, purportedly, midwifed by the APC national leadership must be revisited in the interest of equity and justice.”

Considering its closeness to the people at the grassroots, the forum said “we are at a more vantage position to do a post-mortem on the poor outing of our party in our zone, with a view to forestalling a repeat in the next general election.

“Pursuant to this, it is our considered view that most of the issues we identified to have led to our unimpressive performance were primarily as a result of the existence of leadership vacuum in the South East APC.

“We commend the father of the emerging New Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, for his post election acceptance declaration that he will run an all-inclusive government and urge the leadership of our great party to toe the same line, by exhibiting fairness, justice and magnanimity in sharing the dividends of victory amongst the six geo-political zones.

“We condemn any attempt to cast aspersions on Ndigbo or spread a campaign of calumny against the entire APC family in Igbo land, under whatever guise. May we also state, emphatically, that we are opposed to any reward system that does not recognise the efforts, sacrifices and contributions of party faithful in the South East, some of whom paid the supreme price in defence of the ‘change ideology’.

“We, therefore, urge our most revered leader and president and, indeed, other national leaders to prevail on the APC national leadership to resolve the issue of leadership vacuum, as earlier highlighted.

“He should also strengthen the party in the South East ahead of next election, by appointing competent and credible sons and daughters of Ndigbo into strategic positions of authority, beginning with the zoning of the office of deputy Senate president of the 9th Senate to the South East,” the statement said.