A chieftain of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Richard Ozobu, on Saturday, said that only building an alliance with other zones would guarantee the realisation of a President of Igbo extraction in 2023.
Ozobu, who spoke in a media chat with some journalists, said Ndigbo should extend the search for a presidential candidate to the seven Igbo speaking states recognised by the constitution of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
He stated that he did not doubt that the interests of Ndigbo would be well guaranteed should the likes of the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi who according to him, “is a complete Igboman from Ikwere in River State”, be given the opportunity to succeed the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), in 2023.
The Ohanaeze chieftain, stated that it was wrong to limit the search for a presidential candidate of Igbo extraction in 2023 to the five core Igbo states of Enugu, Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi and Imo, when the Ohanaeze constitution had recognised Delta and Rivers as part of Igbo states.
“We have had situations where these two states of Delta (Anioma) and Rivers (Ikwere) have produced a President General or Secretary and presided over Igbo affairs through Ohanaeze Ndigbo. There was the late Ambassador Ralph Uwaechue from Delta State who was President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo. Uche Okwukwu from River State was Secretary-General of Ohanaeze.
“By the next election of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the position of President General will go to Rivers state and the person will come from Rivers and stay at the headquarters of Ohanaeze here in Enugu and preside over Igbo affairs.
“So if this is so, why are we thinking that Igbos in Rivers and Delta are not part of the presidency in 2023? We are limiting our chances and population by not integrating these ones. We were all together in the old Eastern region until the creation of states. We are best suited to allow that structure which our forebears bequeathed on us than what we are doing presently,” he said.
Ozobu said that no tribe in Nigeria can win the presidency without alliances because of the nature of politics being played in the country, adding that Ndigbo “It is a matter of give and take and it has to be built on trust and founded on equity. You can’t win them all if we are not good politicians”.
The Ohanaeze chieftain explained that what was holding the Igbo was insecurity, stressing that any person that must be trusted with political power must guarantee the security of the Igbo and the country at large.
“We must give it to somebody that the rest of the country can trust and deliver the security aspect and the issue must be within the Igbo nation. We are never part of this splintering of Igbo. Igbo should remain where they are and if they are in the north, born there, lived all their life there, you should allow them to be part of the process,” he canvassed
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