From Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
Apex Igbo social cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has said wherever Nigeria picks its president from in 2023 would determine the destiny of Igbo in the country.
The group, in recent months, has been lobbying political parties including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All progressives Congress (APC) to field an Igbo as presidential candidates.
President General of the organisation, Prof. George Obiozor, who spoke in Owerri, yesterday, said whichever part of the country produces the next president would send a message to Igbo about their destiny in Nigeria.
He faulted the idea that Igbo cannot produce a candidate that is popular enough in Nigeria describing it as another historical fallacy and prejudice about Igbo.
He said as an ethnic nationality, Igbo were blessed with capable, patriotic and credible personalities, eminently qualified to govern the country and meet the expectations of citizens.
He pleaded with the nation’s political class to drop all fears and prejudices against Igbo and forge a common front to move the nation forward. He said Igbo needed justice, equity and fairness in Nigeria and not blame game.
“I understand clearly the dilemma faced by these leaders but Nigerian politics is at a point of no return where national destiny is at stake and where patriotism and political wisdom must supersede personal ambition.”
Asked whether Igbo were campaigning enough across the country, he said: “Since 1960, Igbo have been campaigning for their rights to leadership in Nigeria. So, anybody who says we have not campaigned enough about the 2023 Igbo president is guilty of historical fallacy because many of us know how often those rights and opportunities have been denied or ignored with impunity.
“How can one be accused of making noise over marginalisation or discrimination in critical areas of Nigerian politics and at the same time accused of not making enough political campaign for the 2023 presidency.
“Ndigbo have campaigned for any relevant national political office since the end of the war. Most Nigerians with conscience and patriotic as well as friends of Nigeria inside and outside the country know this to be the truth.”
Obiozor said Nigeria would experience resurgence of nationalism with enthusiasm under an Igbo Nigerian president with malice towards none and charity to all.
“We need a leader who can unite us as one nation and one destiny and not one Nigeria with disputed destinies as incrementally observed in our history in recent years. In a country where you have a glaring statistics of power sharing history as Nigeria, there is absolutely no doubt that it is politically and morally defensible and justifiable for power to shift to South and to the South-East,” Obiozor said.