From Magnus Eze, Enugu and Ogbonnaya Ndukwe, Aba
Ohanaeze Ndigbo and some eminent Igbo personalities have called on more sons and daughters of Igbo of South East to join the 2023 presidential race.
They also called on the aspirants not to leave any stone unturned in pursuing their aspirations, assuring them of the overwhelming support of the Igbo.
National Publicity Secretary of the apex Igbo socio-cultural body, Chief Alex Ogbonnia in an interview with Daily Sun, yesterday, restated the group’s position that it is the turn of the South East to produce Nigeria’s next president.
He, however, commended some sons of the region that have thrown their hats in the ring, including former President of the Senate, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim; Senate Whip, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu; Ebonyi Governor, Chief David Umahi and Sam Ohuabunwa, among others.
“Ohanaeze is happy about the audacity and courage shown by some prominent Igbo in response to the call by Ohanaeze Ndigbo that they should contest the 2023 presidency because it is our turn. We are urging more aspirants to indicate interest so that overtime Ohanaeze would have an internal selection mechanism in presenting the best of the aspirants to Nigerians across the political parties,” Ogbonnia said.
Also, elder statesman, Chief Mike Ahamba, challenged the aspirants to present themselves to people of the geopolitical zone, so that they will be properly packaged, marketed and handed over as good quality materials to other ethnic nationalities for approval and acceptance for the office.
He said that if the Igbo want to be given the top seat, those striving to become the arrowheads, must prepare their resumes with acceptable minimal faults, and hand such over to Igbo elders to market them.
Said Ahamba: “I wonder what is wrong with our people, if we need to fight for the presidency in 2023, let a good candidate come out to declare his interest to the people. Let him prepare his papers sincerely, even with minimum blunders, and we will rise to sell such candidate to the people up North, South West and other parts of the country.
“You don’t expect the Fulani, Hausa or Yoruba to come to Igboland, pick someone and canvass for the office for him, while other Nigerians wait for you. It is a contest and those that present their candidates well will get it.”
President of Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF), Prof Uzodinma Nwala, recently described those against the next president of Nigeria coming from the South East as enemies of democracy.
Addressing newsmen in Enugu, Nwala said: “We are calling on our people to stand firm on their demand that the next President of Nigeria must come from the South East. Anybody that is campaigning for a president outside Igbo land must be an enemy of the country; enemy of democracy.”