From Okwe Obi, Abuja
Ahead of the 2023 general elections,
Coalition of Igbo Youths Vanguard Worldwide, has announced the commencement of intense lobbying to ensure that the South-East region produces the next president.
To this end, it called on other regions to look beyond sentiments and support the zone, adding that Nigeria should not treat any section of the country as “second class” just the way many people from South East zone are feeling.
According to a statement signed by its National President, Dr. Hope Amadi and National Secretary, Barr Uju Kalu, they called on prominent Ndigbo, including politicians, businessmen and women, religious leaders, traditional rulers and other stakeholders, to close ranks, against any act of saboteurs.
They further denounced the activities of ta Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, pledged unflinching loyalty to Nigeria and called on the Federal Government, to deploy maximum force to tame IPOB.
In addition, they commended Afenifere Leader, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, for consistently supporting the emergence of a president of Igbo extraction, noting his endorsement was a demonstration of selflessness and unparalleled patriotism.
“In times of difficulty, where many leaders fail to live up to the billing, we send our appreciation to a pan-Nigerian and chieftain of Yoruba socio-political and cultural group, Afenifere, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, for his consistent support for the presidency to shift to the South East come 2023.
“We note, with the greatest respect, the fact that, apart from making a case for the Igbo to have a feel of the presidency, Pa Adebanjo has never shied away from speaking truth to power, a disposition that has earned him a special place in history.
“We also commend other well-meaning Nigerians across board, who have continued to add their voices of reason to that of our elder statesman, to bequeath a nation founded of equity and justice to the next generation.
“No doubt, the time for Igbo presidency is now, and to achieve it, all hands must be on deck, especially among Ndigbo – home and in the diaspora.
“There shall be no room for sabotage of any kind, bearing in mind the stereotypes that have defined us among people from other parts of the country.
“It is a given that we cannot achieve this dream alone, as we need the support of our brothers and sisters from other parts of the country, who are enjoined to allow reason and valued judgement assume a better part of them, rather than sentiments.
“As a people with a history of unfulfilled agitations, the Igbo must also show cause why we must be trusted with power, against the backdrop of the suffocating violent activities of the proscribed IPOB.
“To place the South East on a sound footing for the 2023 presidency, we recommend the denunciation of Kanu and his deviant followers by all Ndigbos , who have chosen the part of destruction.
“We reject IPOB and all they stand for, as their violent activities are not a true reflection of who Ndigbo are, and what the stand for, or profess.
“We cannot conclude without calling on Igbo sons and daughters, home and abroad, to declare total and irrevocable support for one united, indivisible and prosperous nation, where peace and justice reign,” they said.