By Emeka Mamah
Enugu — The South East Leadership Development Initiative, SELDI, has condemned the call by former President Olusegun Obasanjo for the Igbo to contest the presidency in 2019, saying the north should be allowed to complete its tenure in 2023.
SELDI’s convener, Mr Ikechukwu Modebelu, who spoke in an interview with Vanguard in Enugu said Igbo would likely get the country’s presidency after the north had completed its tenure, warning that no Igbo man should be deceived into running for the office as there was no vacancy in 2019.
Modebelu said Obasanjo was setting a booby trap for the Igbo by asking them to contest the presidency in 2019 when the north had not completed its tenure under the zoning arrangement.
He said: “Our region remains one of the major regions that has not had power. We must get prepared for the position by building our own leaders.
“Our region needs industries and that is why we are talking about the think-home policy. A study carried out by one of the associations which make up the Ohanaeze Ndigbo socio-cultural association, the Aka- Ikenga, between 2010 and 2011 showed that Ndigbo had over 450 companies between Ota and Lagos axis alone, making the area one of the most industrialised in Africa.
“We need to also encourage our people to invest at home to create employment for our youths, who feel discriminated against in the country.
“We must assuage the feelings of young Biafrans that Ndigbo are being treated as if they are not Nigerians by dousing their agitation.
“Our elders must have the wisdom of to douse the agitations of our youths by informing them that we are still part of this country between now and 2023 for us to get our people prepared for the position before we can meaningfully campaign for the presidency in 2023.”
Modebelu, however, commended the President- General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, over his recent tour of Rivers State and promise to meet Governor Okowa of Delta State, saying that the boundary of Ndigbo started from Asaba and ended at Ikwere in Rivers State.