2023: Present candidate that’ll be acceptable by all, group tells Ndigbo

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Electoral commission officers count votes at Shagari Health Unit polling station in Yola, Adamawa State on February 23, 2019 after the polls were closed during the day of the General elections. - Nigeria began counting votes in presidential elections, even as many people had yet to even cast their ballot because of delays in the opening of polling units and problems with staffing and technology. Nigeria's Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) last week announced a one-week delay to the election, just hours before it was due to get under way. The presidential contest will see incumbent Muhammadu Buhari (APC) seek to win a second four-year term against former vice president Atiku Abubakar (PDP). (Photo by CRISTINA ALDEHUELA / AFP) (Photo credit should read CRISTINA ALDEHUELA/AFP/Getty Images)

A socio-political group, Balance and Equity Group, has told the South-East politicians to present a presidential candidate that would be acceptable to all the regions of the country.

The group also cautioned politicians with bad track records to steer off 2023 elections, saying that Nigerians are wiser now and will not accept them.

The founder and National Coordinator of the group, Chris Arinze, while addressing journalists in Onitsha, on Wednesday, said the preparation for the 2023 presidential election should be about presenting the right and credible candidates with capacity to move the country forward.

Arinze urged interested South-East politicians and technocrats to declare their interest in the contest without further delay.

He commended Ebonyi State Governor, Chief Dave Umahi; former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim; and former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu for declaring their interests, urging other interested Igbo politicians and technocrats to declare interests as the best aspirant would be selected among them.

Arinze pointed out that their declaration of interests and ambitions had become very imperative because, according to him, the group is putting structures in motion to conduct a Presidential Interest Debate for all the aspirants where they are going to select the best aspirant and present to Nigerians.

He added that BEG was not in support of any politician with suspicious track record but someone that has the intellectual, physical and moral capacity and capability.

The BEG boss said, “We want to produce Igbo presidential aspirant that will be a Nigerian and who will represent the Nigerian people in all sector and strata, irrespective of religion, language, tribe, ethnic affiliation and political affiliation, an aspirant who will not just be for the Igbos but for all Nigerians.

“We want someone that will be accepted by all Nigerians and be voted for by all Nigerians, and is not above the age limit that Nigerians require and desire. Someone that is not above 65 years. Someone that is young, physically strong and mentally alert.

“We do not want someone that will be spending much of his time for medical treatment overseas where billions of Nigeria money will be spent on his health, we want someone that has the capacity and capability to solve the country’s security and economic problems.

“Nigeria president of Igbo extraction will go a long way to assuage the agitation that have been bedevilling the country, and we assure Nigerians that they will not regret voting an Igbo man as president of this great country.”