From John Adams, Minna
Igbo traditional leaders in the 19 Northern states on Sunday rose from a one-day special prayers session for Igbos in Nigeria and those in the diaspora, the country and her leaders with a resolve that there is no alternative to an Igbo president in 2023.
The Igbo leaders also vowed to place course on Igbos who want to work against the interest of the igbo people towards electing an Igbo president in 2023, saying that it can only be achieved through collective struggle.
The Chairman, theAssociation of Eze Ndi Igbo of the 19 Northern States and the (FCT), Abuja, Dr Pampas Ngozi Nwahiwe, urged Igbos that they should come together and speak with one voice in order not to lose the opportunity of producing a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction come 2023.
According to him, ‘it will not be well for any Igbo man who works against his kinsman in te 2023 Presidential election. It will not go down well for any Igbo man who knows what will kill or destroy fellow Igbo man and his/her businesses.’
The prayers session which took place at the palace of Dr Pampas in Chanchaga, Minna, the Niger State capital,on Sunday had the 19 Igbo traditional leaders in attendance.
Nwahiwe and other speakers were unanimous in registering their support for an Igbo president in the next election because, according to them, ‘the Igbo man has something to offer Nigeria if given the chance to prove their worth.’
Apart from ensuring equity, justice and fairness for all regions, the Igbo leaders maintained that an Igbo president would also not only guarantee peace, curtail insecurity but boost the economy of Nigeria.
On the prevalent security situation, Nwahiwe apparently reacting to the Sunday afternoon abduction of 21 passengers traveling on a state government bus appealed to the federal, state and local governments to do more in securing the lives and property of citizens.
Also speaking, the president of the Igbo Community Association (ICA) Niger State, Dr Valentine Oparaocha, appealed to Nigerians not to despair but have faith in God, saying he is confident that Nigeria would overcome its current socioeconomic and security woes.
Oparaocha said the event was organised to seek God’s intervention in the multi-dimensional challenges bedeviling Nigeria, Niger State and the Igbo man in particular, whilst appealing to his kinsmen in the state, Nigeria and in the diaspora to be more peaceful, show love for one another in whatever they do and wherever they may find themselves.
The Catholic Bishop of Minna Diocese, Most Reverend Martins Igwemezie Uzoukwu, who led other clergy men and women of Igbo extraction in the state on the intercessory prayers, challenged Igbos not to forget their roots and to always pray for God’s guidance and direction in whatever they do.
Bishop Uzoukwu, who spoke through Rev Fr Emeka Amamchukwu, also appealed to Igbos and Nigerians in general to return back to their creator in moments of trials, saying ‘Nigeria’s problems seem to have defied all known solutions.’