From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Former Enugu State Governor Okwesilieze Nwodo has restated the determination of Igbo to produce successor to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 irrespective of challenges.
He disclosed that Igbo people have decided that they won’t pitch their tent with any political party as was the case before but with anyone through which they would realize their dream of producing the next Nigerian President in 2023.
Nwodo who spoke at a grand reception organized by leaders of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in 19 northern states and FCT, for the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof. George Obiozor, in Abuja, advised political parties to zone their presidential tickets to the south east in order to secure the support of the region and other regions that have pitched their tent with the south east ahead of 2023 presidential election.
He said: “We have been treated badly in this country for long. I am a Board of Trustees (BoT) member and National Executive Council (NEC) of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). I was their first National Secretary, and I have been the Chairman of the Party.
“I have told them repeatedly that the only way they can get the support of the southeast people in the forthcoming general election in 2023 is to zone their presidential ticket to the region, insisting that any of the national party, between PDP and APC, that fields Igbo candidate will surely get 100 percent support from Igbo people.
“This time, Igbo has no party of choice as was the case in the past. We will “sheepishly” queue behind any party that present Igbo candidate for the presidency. That is what we want and that is what we are interested in. We are due for that position. It’s only Igbo that can clean up the Nigerian system putting the country on the track of growth and development.”
He pledged total support and loyalty to the administration of the Prof. Obiozor, as Ohanaeze Ndigbo, assuring him of support that would help him succeed. “Don’t be afraid to speak on that matter of restructuring and Igbo Presidency because we are behind you. We have been treated badly in the country for long,” he said.
Meanwhile, former Governor of Anambra state, Chukwuemeka Ezeife, who also spoke at the event disclosed that supports have been coming from north and south towards the realization of the Igbo Presidency in 2023.
He confirmed that God has endorsed the plan, thus soliciting the support of sons of the region, financially and otherwise, to ensure that south east produce success to President Muhammadu Buhari, in 2023.
He registered concerns that many people, especially from the region are still doubtful of the fact that the region and its people are better positioned to take over power in 2023.
He said: “Many of them are bothered about the possibility of the agenda. Some of them are also asking what we would do with the Presidential powers. But whatever their doubt is or maybe, we have agreed that an Igbo man will be Nigeria’s President come 2023, and God has endorsed.
“As it is now. We are the only enemy of ourselves. Nobody will truncate the plan except ourselves. God has endorsed the plan for Igbo Presidency in 2023, and it’s left for us to work and ensure we realize the dream.
“We are getting secret and open support, prayers and backing from people that we never expected. So far, it has come from the north. It has also come from the south. Many of them have been suggesting to us what we should do to achieve success.
In his remarks, the Prof. Obiozor, predicted that Igbo Presidency in 2023 will come to fruition but that all stakeholders must unite and speak with one voice.
He warned that if unity, oneness in decision and pursuit for the political position is not achieved, then the dream of the producing the next president of Nigeria in 2023 may be a mirage.
He promised to champion the cause of peace building, unity and oneness among the Igbos, home and abroad.
He challenged the Federal Government to conspicuously embrace the value of justice, equity and fairness for real peace to prevail in Nigeria, insisting that progress and unity cannot be gotten in propaganda.
He challenged the Igbos to choose their enemies and friends carefully as the process of producing candidates for political offices gather momentum.