Prominent personalities of the Igbo extraction on Monday made strong case for negotiation between the people of the South East and other regions in the country for the actualisation of the Igbo Presidency.
They said for the clamour for Igbo President in 2023 to be a reality, other zones in the country must be lobbied on the need to support the project based on equity and fairness.
Among the persons who spoke in Awka, Anambra state during the conference organised by Global Movement for Igbo President 2023 tagged ‘ Actualising Nigerian’s Igbo Presidency: The way forward were a PDP chieftain, Senator Ben Obi, former Governor of Anambra state, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former Minister, Women Affairs, Josephine Aneni,
According to Obi, “Ndigbo cannot elect President all alone, rather, they should intensify fierce and deliberate lobbying of the North West, North East, North Central, South West and South South.
“After reaching out to other zones, the next hurdle would be the political parties that have the constitutional right to sponsor people for elections.
“For the Igbo presidency to be realised come 2023, the two major political parties, that is the ruling All Progressive Congress and the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, must zone their presidential tickets to the South East zone allow Nigerians choose from whoever they want.
” Mobilising our people to be on the same page and speak with one voice on the sole project rather than having different demands and agitations outside the call for an Igbo President, so that we shall not be looked upon as a confused people.”
Former governor of Anambra state, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife described the issue of President from Igbo extraction as long overdue, adding that South East zone should fight harder as power is taken not given.
“We shall send our Steering Committee members to Bola Tinubu and other Northern aspirants to see reason why Igbo should produce president and have a rethink.
According to him, virtually every part of Nigeria he has visted talked about President of Igbo extraction, urging Igbo to unite in pursuing the goal and that each group that supported the project have already pencilled down names of people they felt are qualified for the job.
He said: “More people outside outside South East support Igbo Presidency. We must have a strong body of elder statesmen to go to people of influence to lobby”.
On her part, former Minister, Women Affairs, Josephine Anenih regretted the pessimistic utterances of the Igbo people towards their quest for the exalted seat.
She said, I’ve been discouraged by the Ndigbo through their pessimistic utterances. I feel disappointed when I hear them ask questions like, “Will they give us?”
She said former President Olusegun Obasanjo won because Nigerians decided to compensate with the yorubas, saying such case would be the lot of the Igbos.
“When Nigerians realized the injustice they metted on Abiola, they decided to vote for Obasanjo. He was not voted for by his people. He won because Nigerian wanted to appease the Yoruba.
She warned those flying their kite of former President Goodluck Jonathan coming back as President to stop such propaganda.
“If ibos like it or not, a president will be imposed on them. An agreement by all Nigerians will make it possible.
“Jonathan is not an Igbo man. Ijaw is not Igbo. They should not impose him on us. Whoever that’s flying their kite should stop it.
“I trust Nigeria to give us the slot to appease us. We’re not talking of secession now, but injustice.”
The President, Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Chris Isiguzo maintained that the unity of the country was not negotiable m
He said, “Unity is sacrosanct. Anything contrary I’m not part of it. We’re totally in support of addressing marginalization. For us to achieve this project, we must go beyond rhetorics.
“Igbos alone can’t and won’t be able to achieve the presidency. We need other sections of the country. Power is not given, but taken.
“Our people must be determined to reach out and Consult widely to mobilize our people. We must not necessarily be united, but we can’t afford to be divided in this project.”
The convener of the event, Comrade Iyere said the quest for President of Igbo extraction would be a global project which will be presented to the British and European Union parliaments as well as government agencies in the world.
He said the idea is so that the coming president will not spend his money to campaign because if he does that he will be forced to recoup thereby leaving NIGERIA worse than he met it.
Other dignatries that graced the event were Professor Stella Chinyere Okunna, Chief Godwin Ezeemo, Dr. Kema Chikwelu who was represented.
Others were state chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chief Ndubisi Nwobu, President of Ohaneze Ndigbo in United Kingdom Dr. Alex Igwe and many friends of Ndi Igbo across the nation.