It was learnt that an array of potential presidential aspirants stormed the United States recently to lobby support for an election of a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction in 2023.
The move, according to the participants, is similar to the global campaign undertaken by members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) prior to the 2015 presidential election, which helped to return power to the North.
The event which held in Washington, D.C. on January 10, 2019, was attended by a broad spectrum of academic, political, and economic leaders. At the event, it was learnt that there was an apparent consensus that zoning has helped to sustain and stabilise Nigeria’s nascent democracy.
Among the attendees was former 2019 APC presidential aspirant, now a stalwart of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Charles Udeogaranya.
Udeogaranya stated that the group was in the United States “to make a strong case that at the expiration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure in 2023, power must rotate to the South and this time, the South-East zone. He said that it is imperative that the standing rotation agreement is adhered to, as it would help to promote peace, unity, equity, and progress in Africa’s most populous nation.”
It was also learnt that from the ruling APC was primary challenger to President Buhari in the 2019 election, Dr. SKC Ogbonnia, who highlighted the logic and the necessity of zoning the presidency to the South-East. He also argued that “what is most critical to the masses at this stage is for the international community, particularly the US, to lend its support to a growing democratic, legal and non-violent revolution to uproot the status quo, perpetuated by the Nigeria’s corrupt cabal, in order to enable good people to be elected to office.”
In his contribution, former Executive Director of the Nigerian-American Council, Dr. Okey Samuel Mbonu, who was a 2019 presidential aspirant on the platform of the Labour Party, stated that “the world must bear witness that equity should prevail in Nigeria in 2023; anything less is likely to provoke an unimaginable crisis in Nigeria.”
It was further learnt that the American audience was obviously concerned about an undertone in the conference that the Igbo people of Nigeria are being denied access to power. This prompted Bob Williams, an oil and gas investor, to remark that, “while it is pertinent to note that the United States does not usually interfere with internal affairs of sovereign nations, there are always exceptions where people are seen to be persecuted because of their beliefs.”