From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The National Chairman, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Chief Audu Ogbeh, has told the people of South East region to begin serious lobbying ahead of 2023 general elections if they want to produce their own kinsman as president.
He said resorting to intimidation, blackmail and socio-political threats might not give them the presidency.
He also said management of political parties has become low and hopeless, noting that political parties have abandoned constitutional responsibilities of holding their elected leaders accountable.
The ACF leader responded to questions from reporters shortly after he paid a condolence visit to the family of General Inuwa Wushishi (retd), a founding member of ACF who died last week.
Chief Ogbeh recalled the days of National Party of Nigeria (NPN), saying, “I was the national chairman of NPN, and we used to sit down with the president at the party level and asked him to account for governance. We did same to our governors. Party management is hopelessly low in Nigeria. Unless political parties are accountable to the people, there will be no good governance.”
He reminded Igbo that democracy encourages political power seekers to be friendly and reach out widely to stakeholders across the country in order to win their respective support.
“We want to advise that if the South East people want to have 2023 presidency, they should begin to lobby, go round the country, talk to people. But what we are seeing is that there is so much hatred and attacks especially on social media about 2023 presidency.
“Nobody has come to us to say he wants to contest but we will support whoever any political party throws up because what we need most is peace.
“We are not going to endorse people who cannot do the job because if we make bad choice the people will suffer for it. But you all know that ACF is not a political party, all we want to see is peace and harmony everywhere ahead of the 2023 general elections.”
The former minister of agriculture and rural development, described insecurity, particularly in the North as barbarism, saying: We are all depressed, we are concerned, we are sad. In most cases, we whispered to governments at all levels about what to do to curtail insecurity, and where we have opportunity we make suggestions.”