Orji Kalu, Chief Whip of the Senate, has withdrawn from the next year’s presidential race, blaming the two major political parties in the country for failing to zone their respective tickets to the South-East.

Mr Kalu made this known in a statement he signed on Monday and announced he was returning to the red chamber to complete the work he started.

He has also picked the nomination form of the ruling party pegged at N20 million.

“I have also picked a ticket to run for Abia North Senatorial zone to complete the good work I started in Abia North,” he announced.

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The Chief Whip said since the presidential race is now open to all zones in the country, his support goes to Senate President Ahmad Lawan who is from the North-East, a region that has not also produced president since the return to democratic rule in 1999.

“I am most glad because he is from the North-East, the only zone alongside the South-East that is yet to produce the president of Nigeria.

“I have always maintained an unambiguous stand that for justice, equity and fairness in our country, the next president of Nigeria after President Muhammadu Buhari should come from the South East or the North-East.

“I have also told Nigerians that I would only run for president if the two major political parties, APC and PDP zone their tickets to the South-East.

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“That is why I was disappointed with our southern brothers who are talking about fairness and equity but have zero tolerance for the same fairness and equity in the South.

“In the absence of a south-easterner being president of Nigeria in 2023, I have my full support for a north-easterner.

“This is because it would be the closest to the equity, fairness and Justice everyone is talking about. It further means that justice is on its way to the South East,” Mr Kalu said.

He also urged his friends, allies and supporters in the APC to toe the line of justice by supporting the candidacy of Mr Lawan.

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