From Fred Itua, Abuja
As more leaders across the various geopolitical zones continue to drum support for a Nigerian president of South East extraction in 2023, President-General of the Igbo socio-cultural group Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Professor George Obiozor, has maintained that the region will produce a leader who will replace President Muhammadu Buhari.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja on Monday, Obiozor said Igbo leaders from the South East were already reaching out to political actors from other parts of the country. He said Nigerians will overwhelmingly support president from the South East, insisting that it was the turn of the region.
He said the ongoing nationwide consultation embarked upon by the Igbo social-cultural group, was already generating results. He referred to Edwin Clarke’s recent remarks that the South East should produce the president in 2023.
Clark, a former national Commissioner, said it was in the interest of fairness and justice for President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor to come from the South East.
He, however, urged the region to put its house in order to actualise the dream of producing the next President.
Clark said: ‘The era we have reached now is that we have agreed to work together. How do we go on, how do we move on? I think that is the stage we have reached.
‘I don’t belong to any political party but I speak my mind. The man who brought Politics into Nigeria was late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. I knew him when I was twenty years old when he visited Warri, we trekked twelve miles to come and see him.’
Speaking, Obiozor said: ‘We have been consulting and the result of our consultation is producing results. A leader from the South South, Edwin Clarke has come out to say that the South East should produce the next president in 2023.
‘That means we are working and consulting. We are calling on all the major political parties to zone the presidency to the South East. That’s the right thing to do. Anywhere in Nigeria or across the world, you must find an Igbo man. It means we are the only tribe supporting one Nigeria.
‘People always say that the Igbo don’t speak with one voice. The Igbo man or woman can’t speak with one voice m we accommodate everyone. It is the duty of the leaders to articulate these various voices and ensure that we present a common position. That is what we will do in 2023.’
Speaking on the security situation in the South East, the Ohanaeze scribe said the region which was hitherto the safest in the country, was suddenly becoming a hotbed for insurgency. He attributed the upsurge to moves by the region to produce the next president in 2023.
He said the apex Igbo body will support any security architecture that will guarantee the safety of the region and Igbo in the South East. He said the security of the region must not be compromised.