•Yoruba youths shortlist 11 Igbo men
Magnus Eze, Jude Chinedu, Enugu, Obinna Odogwu, Awka and Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
Special Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan on Inter-Party Affairs, Senator Ben Ndi Obi, yesterday, said that Ndigbo might not be able to achieve their 2023 presidential aspiration if they fail to build political bridges across the geopolitical zones in the country.
This is even as an elder statesman and former governor of Anambra State, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, said the people of South-East geo-political zone will go on their knees to beg other zones, if it becomes the condition to actualise their ambition to produce the next president.
Senator Obi, at a summit organised by Global Movement for Igbo President 2023 in Awka, the Anambra State capital, themed: Actualising 2023 Nigeria’s Igbo Presidency – The Way Forward, listed some steps which must be taken by Ndigbo to actualize their noble target. The group is led by Kennedy Iyiere.
The ex-lawmaker said that there was also strong need to reach out to the political parties and make their leaders see reasons to field Igbo people for the 2023 presidential election just as it was done for the South West in 1999.
Obi said: “For the Igbo presidency to be realised come 2023, the two major political parties, that is, the ruling All Progressives Congress and the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, must zone their presidential tickets to the South East zone and allow Nigerians choose from whoever they want.
“Mobilising our people to be on the same page and speak with one voice on the sole project rather than having different demands and agitations outside the call for an Igbo President, so that we shall not be looked upon as a confused people.”
The former governor, Ezeife, in his speech, revealed that some Yoruba youths were already working in support of Nigeria’s president of Igbo extraction.
“We shall send our Steering Committee members to Bola Tinubu and Northern aspirants to see reasons why Igbo should produce president and have a rethink.
“Yoruba youths are processing and profiling 11 names from South East and will bring out 3 from the three prominent political parties”, he revealed.
Former Minister of Aviation, Ambassador Kema Chikwe, in an address delivered on her behalf by Mrs Nnenna Aladum, said that it was important for Ndigbo to start building robust and stronger relationship with other tribes in the country in order to have a smooth sail to the presidency in 2023.
“Population counts a lot in political and elective processes, so if it becomes an only Igbo affair, can the Igbo’s make the presidency? So, integration of other parts of the country by building a good relationship, having an understanding with them and counting on their support is very needful.
“The person aspiring for Igbo presidency must possess many outstanding qualities like being knowledgeable in the Nigerian culture and must have compassion for the Nigerian people.”
Igbo youths slam Secondus over Atiku candidacy
Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL) has tackled National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus over his recent statement that the party’s 2023 presidential ticket was open to all persons and geopolitical zones.
They described the party leader’s position as unpatriotic, stating that he was driven by the desire to retain his office as the PDP National Chairman.
The group also claimed that Secondus just told Nigerians he was an individualistic politician whose sole aim in politics was his personal gain.
A statement by COSEYL’s President General, Goodluck Ibem and Secretary General, Kanice Igwe, yesterday, was emphatic that the 2023 presidency was for the South East.
The statement noted that Igbo had paid enough sacrifice for the party including giving it the greatest and most consistent support since 1998.
They also wondered how Secondus could wake-up to say that a party that believed so much in zoning and enshrined zoning of political offices in its constitution had suddenly thrown away that section overnight simply because, he must be re-elected as national chairman.
“This his egocentric game plan will not work. PDP is morally and constitutional obligated to zone the presidential ticket of the party to South-East geopolitical zone because it is the only zone that has not produced Nigerian president before.
“The people of the South-East have paid their dues in the development and advancement of the country and now is the time for the party to pay back Ndigbo for its years of support and solidarity to the PDP. It is no secret that South East and Ndigbo wherever they are have always voted for the party. For instance, PDP has always made significant impact in Lagos State because the igbo living in Lagos State have always voted for the party. Why would Secondus try to insult the sensibility of the South-East.”
Insisting that equity, fairness and natural justice favoured the South East for the president, the group said that the PDP boss has insulted the Igbo.
The youths, therefore, gave him seven days to retract the statement while urging the leadership of the PDP to call its National Chairman to order before he destroyed the party.
Maintain current zoning arrangement, group tasks political parties
A socio-political pressure group, Opportunity is Given International (OGI) has charged political parties to maintain the current zoning arrangement in the country.
The Executive Director of OGI, Mr Chimbo Obieze, who made the call during a press conference in Enugu, yesterday, said political parties especially the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should deliberately zone their tickets to the South East to ensure equity, oneness and indivisibility of the country.
“It is clear to everyone that had been following the political development within the Southern part of the country, that the South-West and South-South have produced the presidency since the return to democratic rule in 1999.
“The only zone that has not tasted power at the centre remains the South-East within the 21 years of the country’s democratic leadership. President Buhari should insist that power rotates to South-East in 2023 to give all zones and shade of tribes a sense of belonging in the Nigerian project,’’ he said.
He predicted that an Igbo presidency will bring the enterprise and resourcefulness of an Igbo-man to bear in the governance and solving the already myriad challenges confronting the country.