Magnus Eze, Enugu
Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Osita Okechukwu, has said Nigeria’s first president, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, would have supported the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019, if he was alive.
Okechukwu said that would have afforded Ndigbo the opportunity to produce the country’s president in 2023.
He also said 95 per cent of Igbo clamouring for restructuring are in support of a united Nigeria.
Okechukwu, who spoke in Enugu on the heels of the South East Governors’ support for Ohanaeze Ndigbo’s push for restructuring, after its meeting at Government House, Enugu, last Sunday, noted that Igbo vote for President Buhari in next year’s election would be the most pragmatic and fastest route to Nigeria’s president of Igbo extraction.
He added that it will usher in Igbo into the mainstream of Nigeria’s political landscape and automatically end long years’ sulk of marginalisation and fully integrate them.
Reacting to a recent statement by Buhari, through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, in Owerri, that the chance of Igbo to produce a president of Nigeria in 2023 depend on their support for him in 2019, the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain said the statement was a wake-up call to the zone.
Asked how to convince Ndigbo who are for restructuring to vote for Buhari in view of the tenuous situation in the country, he said: “Beware of propaganda and campaign taunts, 95 per cent of those clamouring for restructuring are for one Nigeria.
“The herdsmen/farmers clash will soon stop. Therefore, not only that Buhari is the only northerner who constitutionally has four years left; methinks no other northerner will do better than him, as per restructuring and, especially, critical infrastructure, given his integrity quotient.”
He insisted that what is expected of Ndigbo is to vote for President Buhari and, then, appeal to both the South and North to support Igbo candidate in 2023.
“Let’s vote for Buhari in 2019 and pluck the Olive branch of President of Nigeria of Igbo extraction in 2023. It is more pragmatic and surreal. It’s what Zik would do if he was alive,” Okechukwu said.