By Emeka Aginam
Ahead of 2015 Presidential elections, Igbo community residing in Diaspora has given conditions that President Jonathan must meet for 2015 presidency if he finally decides to run.
Chairman of the Igbo World Assembly, Dr Anthony Anakwenze who listed these conditions at the just concluded 2013 convention of the group held at Crystal Palace Hotel, Enugu said it was turn of the Igbo to produce the president in 2015.
Accordingly, he said that if Jonathan makes up his mind to run again in 2015, the Igbo would shelve their ambition to allow him serve out his terms.
He said that Igbo would do this on the condition that the president would ensure that all federal roads across the Igbo nation that are deplorable are fixed, the Akanu Ibiam International Airport fully upgraded to international status, second Niger Bridge completed, and constant power supply assured for the region.
“In the area of infrastructural development, we continue to advocate the federal government to fully operationalise the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, which has been upgraded to international standard and upgrading of Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport.
“We want conduction of much needed repairs on the Enugu to Port Harcourt, Onitsha to Enugu, Ninth Mile to Markudi Road, Umuahia to Arochukwu Road, Enugu to Abakaliki Road and the bridge linking Ebonyi and Obubra in Cross River, Onitsha to Lagos are paramount to infrastructural growth and development of our people.”, he said.
According to him, IWA would want Jonathan to intervene in the 2,000 active erosion sites in Igboland, as well as build coal-fired plant and the reactivation of coal mines in Enugu, among others.
Anakwenze who has been passionate about welfare also called on the Igbo who are fond of investing out side Igbo land to now begin to think home, adding that this would help in creating job for the teeming Igbo youths.
While enjoining the Igbo to continue to promote the Igbo culture, particularly the Igbo language harped on the free and fair election in the 2015.
Also speaking at the forum, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Gary Igariwey thanked IWA for staging the convention which had taken the group to so many states in Igbo land in the past.
“IWA comes home every year to look for ways of helping Nigeria and the Igbo nation. Ohanaeze will encourage other Diaspora groups to emulate their move to move the country forward,” he said.
He called on the Igbo to be united and support one another, saying that everybody cannot lead at the same time.
But speaking, the founder and National Chairman of United Progressives Party (UPP), Chief Chekwas Okorie, who was honored by IWA for his long service to Igbo land, disagreed with the position of the group that the Igbo would wait if Jonathan decides to run again in 2015.
“I disagree with IWA that the Igbo will go to sleep and wait for Jonathan to finish before an Igbo man will take over.
“I agree that the president has the right to contest again, I’m not the one to stop him, but we need to sit down to discuss this, the Igbo will contest the presidency in 2015,” Okorie insisted.
Governor Sullivan Chime who was represented at the occasion by the Commissioner for Commerce, Dr Jude Akubuilo was honoured with an Excellence Award in recognition of his giant strides in EnuguState.
The representative of President Jonathana, Prof Alphaeus Onyeke, SSA on Research, the former Ohanaeze Ndigbo President General, Justice Eze Ozobu, Ohanaeze Secretary General, Dr Joe Nworgu, Ohanaeze Deputy President, OAU Onyema, traditional rulers and members of IWA from across the globe were dignitaries at the capacity building event.