Participants at the fourth International Igbo Christmas Retreat organized by the Igbo Think Tank and Nzuko Ndigbo yesterday in Umuahia, Abia State, said supporting the south-east to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 would not only restore peace to the region, it would also check the increased agitation for self-determination.
In a statement, signed by Think Tank Chairman of the Board Professor Madubuike Ezeibe and Nzuko Ndigbo Chairman Chuks Ibegbu, the meeting endorsed Labor Party (LP) presidential candidate Peter Obi, urging Nigerians to vote for him. .
The participants ordered the citizenry to queue behind a competent flag bearer of the geopolitical zone in accordance with the zoning policy adopted for peace to reign in the Southwest after the annulment of the presidential elections of June 12, 1993 that were believed to be that they had won. by the late chief Moshood Abiola of the late SDP (Social Democratic Party).
For them, electing a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction in 2023 will make it impossible for agitators to convince young people to join them and “give us peace in the south-east as NADECO (National Democratic Coalition) did in the south-west in 1999.” . ”
The withdrawal expressed concern that the zoning of the presidency, debated to ensure justice and equity for the peaceful coexistence of the country, was scrapped at the last minute by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Congress of All Progressives ( APC) to the detriment of the southeast.
Participants argued that since all geopolitical zones in southern Nigeria except the South East had produced the President, fairness and justice demand that the South East produce the nation’s chief executive in 2023.
The statement read in part: “The 1999 scenario of leaving the presidential race to deserving people only was expected to be repeated for the Southeast in 2023.”
Similarly, the South East Revival Group (SERG) has called on Nigerians to ignore hatemongers against the Igbo presidency, portraying them as inconsistent and self-serving politicians.
Referencing the campaign against Peter Obi ahead of the 2023 general election, the Pan-Igbo socio-political organization claimed that the promoters were on a wild goose chase.
In a statement yesterday, SERG President and National Coordinator Chief Willy Ezugwu observed that to the extent that gladiators constantly promise to unite the country by standing up for fairness and justice, they are just as selfish.
The body was reacting to reports credited to some elite of Igbo origin, which has openly opposed Obi’s ambition.
Ezugwu said: “Both the PDP and the APC ruling chiefs have urged the southeast to support their presidential candidates in order to garner support for the emergence of a southeast as president after his term.”
But insisting that there is no going back on ‘full support for Obi across the country’, the SERG chief noted: “The fact that people, who are part of the country’s failed leadership, are exposing themselves, is a good development in construction – to a new Nigeria.”
He continued: “We recall that in 2017, a CPA chief, Chief Arthur Eze, had called for the support of the people of the south-east for the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, emphasizing that only through President Buhari the quest for the presidency of Igbo can be updated.
“Eze, who is founder and chairman of the oil exploration company Atlas Oranto Petroleum, made the call in Abakaliki during Buhari’s visit to the state in 2017.
“At the end of the day, Governor David Umahi, who was running for president, was disappointed when he failed to win Buhari’s support to emerge as a presidential candidate, despite ditching his party, the PDP, to join the APC in anticipation of that President Buhari endorse him.
“The same game is on ahead of the 2023 presidential election, and this time Anambra State Governor Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo is the key person they are using to fool some of the Igbo elite who support to APC or PDP in the presidential elections. The election will ensure that a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction is possible as long as the PDP or APC candidate has finished his term.
“If the support of the likes of Arthur Eze and David Umahi for APC did not translate into support for an Igbo emerging as the party’s presidential candidate in 2023, which is fair and equal, it would be unthinkable to believe that the emergence of an Igbo as president it will be possible as promised over the years.”
SERG stated: “It is unfair, unfair and inequitable for a Northerner to succeed President Buhari in 2023. How can a Muslim Northerner replace a Muslim Northerner in 2023? It’s fair? It’s fair? Doesn’t that lack fairness?
“Nigerians with a good conscience know that the PDP unfairly denied the Igbo the presidential bid against their zoning agreement enshrined in the party constitution.
“Similarly, it is unjust and unjust to the Southeast for a Yoruba southerner to succeed President Buhari after Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, a Yoruba, completed an eight-year term as President and the Yoruba have an acting Vice President, who will be turned eight years old in 2023.
“Peter Obi represents the true Nigerian spirit, not the selfishness of the leaders, who have held the country captive over the years.”