The South East would classify anybody from any part of the country who fails to support an Igbo President in 2023 as an enemy, the youth wing of Ohanaeze Ndigbo has warned.
National publicity secretary of the organisation, Osmond Nkeoma, spoke in Owerri, yesterday, while reacting to a recent comment by former Benue Governor, Gabriel Suswam, that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would zone the presidential ticket to the north in the next election.
He said Igbo have paid the price to merit the position in 2023, just as he called for the support of other regions to make it a reality.
Nkeoma urged other regions to maintain the spirit of equity and fairness just as the Igbo have done.
“It is only in the true spirit of equity; no reason on earth should make PDP zone its 2023 presidential ticket to the North.
“We know Suswam very well, we know he knows the meaning and importance of equity. We wouldn’t want to believe that he actually said that. But, if truly that statement is coming from him, then our stand is that the Igbo have paid their price, as long as Project Nigeria is concerned, and have equally paid our price to the PDP and so deserve, more than any other ethnic group, a shot at the presidency in 2023 through whichever means necessary.
“Anybody or political party against Igbo 2023 presidency will be regarded as an enemy of Nigeria and Ndigbo in particular.
“We know we cannot achieve that alone. So, we solicit and will continue to solicit the help and goodwill of other tribes. Let us not forget the spirit of equity, fairness, justice and unity,” Osmond said.
However, Imo Governor, Hope Uzodinma, enjoined Igbo to create alliances and build bridges of friendship with Nigerians and stakeholders of other geopolitical zones.
He said irrespective of all manner of politicking ahead 2023, the thinking of most well-meaning northerners is that a good candidate of Igbo extraction should succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in the same fashion power was conceded to the South West in 1999.
Uzodinma said the Igbo have a strong case in 2023 but should not fold their hands and expect power on a platter of gold.
“We can say, because the constitution of APC allows for equitable distribution of positions, that, given that other geopolitical zones have one time or the other produced Presidents, the Igbo have a very strong case this time but we cannot sit, fold our arms and wait to produce a President because it is our turn. That is why I am calling on my brothers and sisters from the South East to come out and create alliances, build bridges of friendship so that, working in alliance with geopolitical zones, they may consider our case. We must register or align with a party that is popular and understands the happenings at the federal level. I am confident that it’s possible to have a President of Nigeria from Igboland but we must work for it, we cannot do it alone; we must also allow the people from other geopolitical zones to believe and understand that a President of Igbo extraction will be a President of the Nigerian nation. What we are looking for is a person that will be a President of Nigeria.”
Meanwhile, former deputy national secretary of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Jerry Obasi, has claimed that the serial trailing and arraignment of top Igbo politicians, technocrats, businessmen, and industrialists by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) were not unconnected with the 2023 presidential election.
He alleged in a statement that some powerbrokers opposed to the quest of the Igbo to produce the President of the country in 2023 were doing everything possible to emasculate Igbo top shots to frustrate the quest.
“If you look at the present activities of the EFCC, most of its victims are top politicians, technocrats, businessmen, industrialists of Igbo extraction. This emasculation of Igbo top brass is an arm-twisting method against a particular people ahead of 2023 presidential election. I believe in equity, fairness, justice and fairness. Igbo in Nigeria have contributed enough to deserve a pie of the presidency,” he said.