Traders of Southeast extraction at home and across the country on Monday in Enugu backed the clamour for the next president to be of Southeast extraction.
They urged all political parties to give their presidential tickets to aspirants coming from the geopolitical zone.
The traders expressed their support for southeast presidential aspirants on the platform of the South East Amalgamated Markets Traders Association (SEAMATA).
The call is contained in a statement signed by SEAMATA’s President-General, Chief Gozie Akudolu and Secretary-General, Mr Alex Okwudili.
It was issued to newsmen in Enugu after the association met in Owerri on Wednesday, April 27.
It called on all political parties “in the interest of equity, justice, fairness, and balance of power’’ to zone the 2023 presidential candidacy to the Southeast.
It said the association, in continuation of its advocacy, was “aggressively sensitising our members to register and collect Permanent Voter Cards at centres close to their respective residences.
“Our members throughout the country should ensure that all members of their households who are 18 years and above are also registered.
“We continue to encourage aspirants to the office of the President of Nigeria who are from the Southeast not to relent as we are mobilising full support for them from our members.
“We commend groups from the Southeast and all the ethnic nationalities who are throwing their un-alloyed support for a president of Southeast extraction. Together, we shall succeed.
“We encourage voters to vote only for candidates of Southeast extraction with track record of outstanding achievements in private and public service.
“They should vote for Southeast aspirants whose character and integrity are without blemish and whose performance in the office shall be the pride of every Igbo man.
“We call on all persons of Southeast extraction both at home and in the Diaspora to use all legitimate means within their power to support and push for this all-important project.
“We appeal to our customers from other geo-political zones as well as party delegates to see the urgent need of collectively ending the marginalisation of the Southeast.’’
SEAMATA appealed to “those still challenging the right of the Southeast to produce the president in 2023 to take a cursory look at equity, justice and fairness and withdraw their aspirations for posterity to be fair to them’’.