By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA- AHEAD of the 2023 presidential election, a northern pressure group, Arewa Progressive Front, has endorsed foremost philanthropist and former governor of Imo State,Owelle Rochas Okorocha.
To this end, it has enjoined the Igbo to rally around the Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District to actualize the South East’s ambition of producing a Nigerian President in 2023.
The group insisted that Okorocha’s disposition as a detrabalized Nigerian, puts him at advantage over other Igbo contenders, adding that the North will throw its weight behind a candidate that puts the unity of the country above ethnoreligious sentiments.
Spokesman of the group, Ahmed Bawa, who spoke with journalists in Abuja, weekend, observed that “Okorocha remains the best ticket that can guarantee the Igbo’s push for the presidency in 2023.”
According to the group, “the former governor has pursued a united Nigeria, far before he joined partisan politics.”
“This is evidenced in his free education programme that is open to all indigent children, irrespective of their ethnicity or religion,”
According to him, “If the Igbo must make any cogent push for the Nigerian presidency, then, they must be ready to project their best and most acceptable leaders. We are aware of the campaign of calumny against the former governor, especially from his state, but we’re more comfortable with him than any other Igbo politician.
“No politician of Igbo extraction has assisted the North to solve the major challenge of out-of-school children as much as Okorocha has done through his free education programme. We have the records and the North will not ignore such huge investments”.
Bawa, who is also a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), hinged the choice of Okorocha on the fact that he is “the most widely acceptable candidate from the pool of Igbo politicians angling for the Presidency at the moment.
“When you look at the potential or assumed aspirants for the presidency from the Southeast or the entire Igboland, you would agree with me, that none of them can boast of the kind of acceptability enjoyed by the former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha.”
“Okorocha’s free education, his longstanding affinity with the North, and his visible human capital investments across the length and breadth of Nigeria cannot be rivaled by any of those conspiring for the presidency from among the Igbo”, he said.
The APC Chieftain advised key Igbo groups and stakeholders to unite behind Okorocha in order to enhance the chances of an Igbo man becoming Nigerian President by 2023.
“I think the Igbos need to bury their political differences and pursue this project with a common front, else they may as well perish the thought of making an Igbo man President in 2023”, he insisted.