From Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki
Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, yesterday, said it has not backtracked on its insistence that the next president of the country should come from the South East geopolitical zone.
The group said its position on the matter remains sacrosanct and should be respected by Nigerians.
Chairman of Ohaneze in Ebonyi State, Peter Mbam, who stated this during a press conference in Abakaliki, urged other geopolitical zones to support the South East in 2023, insisting it was the turn of the zone.
Mbam said Ohanaeze was utterly disappointed with the way and manner the major political parties like the Peoples Democratic party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) dribbled the South East during their presidential primaries.
He also blamed some Igbo political leaders, especially party delegates that sold their votes for money and voted against candidates from the zone.
He, however, expressed optimism that despite what transpired during the PDP and APC conventions, the agitation for president of South East extraction in 2023 remains on course and will be actualised.
He said: “Presently, Ohanaeze does not give momentum to leaving Nigeria. However, we stand with all agitations against marginalization of Ndigbo in Nigeria.
“We believe in Nigeria, where all people and groups are treated with justice, equity and fair play. And in our doing this, Ohanaeze’s approach is diplomacy and dialogue, not violence or banditry. Ohanaeze, therefore, strongly supports the next president in 2023 should come from the South East, as a matter of fairness and urges other components of the country to agree.”
On Ebonyi State governorship tussle, Mbam said Ohanaeze would support Governor David Umahi to ensure peaceful transition anchored on equity, justice and fairness.
He praised Governor Umahi’s efforts in transforming the state through delivery of quality and durable infrastructure and human capital development to the people.