The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has said that the people of the South East are prepared for the 2023 presidency, appealing to Nigerians to support the region to have its turn.
This is just as it said majority of Igbo do not believe in secession.
The organisation’s President-General, Ambassador George Obiozor, who stated these in statement on Wednesday, said that with an Igbo President, Nigeria and Nigerians will experience the true meaning of a federation with justice, equity and fairness.
“We should be mindful of those who want to pursue a politically motivated strategy that treats the South East as a hostile territory which is grossly wrong and unacceptable definition of the situation in the South East. Overwhelming majority of Ndigbo do not believe in secession or separatism from Nigeria,” he said.
In the statement titled “Igbos are prepared for the 2023 Presidency,” Obiozor said the people of the region are more united than the North and South-West when they had their turns to produce the President.
He said, “Let it be known and clearly understood that Ndigbo are more prepared than the North when President Buhari was elected in 2015. By then, Boko Haram had threatened to overrun the North and the country, and the nation’s priority then was security and the issue of who will guarantee security to the country favoured Buhari, a former Head of state, and a General.
“The only preparation in the North was having available a man like Buhari, presumed to have the capacity to confront the security challenges in the North and the rest of the country.
“In the South West, how prepared were they in 1999 when President Obasanjo was elected? In fact, many people from the South-West did not vote for him in that election. The people of the South-West zone were deep in the crises of NADECO and displeasure over the June 12, 1993 election annulment.
“Here, notwithstanding, the Nigerian nation and the people through the two main national political parties zoned the Presidency to the South West in order to heal and reconcile the nation over the post-1993 election crisis.”
The former Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States explained that zoning the Presidency to the South East is an idea whose time has come.
“Certainly, Ndigbo are prepared and are looking forward to it as a national priority. It is also indeed reasonable and logical that before any other zone in the country goes for a second turn of occupying the office of the Presidency, Ndigbo should at least have their first turn,” Obiozor added.
He said those with conscience nurtured by truth knew that “Yoruba have had a fair share of power since 1999, with eight years of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Prof Yemi Osibanjo who would be completing eight years as Vice President in 2023 under Buhari’s Presidency. It will be unfair, unjust and unpatriotic as well as against the national spirit and interest to deny Ndigbo their own opportunity and pretend as if they do not exist as part of Nigerian nation.
“Ndigbo waited patiently and cooperatively for the Southern zones – South-West and South-South – to have their opportunities to produce the country’s Presidents. Who really wants to push Ndigbo out of Nigeria by denying them a place in history, to produce the President of Nigeria?”
He appealed to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), not to lose sight of political developments that may be injurious to national unity and corporate existence of the country, adding that no leader in history was ever indifferent about who would succeed him.