President of S-East would be most detribalised —Okwesilieze Nwodo
By Chinonso Alozie & Ikechukwu Odu
The President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Ambassador George Obiozor, on Monday pleaded with other regions of the country to drop fears and prejudices against the Igbos to move the country forward.
Obiozor made this statement in Owerri, regarding the struggle to the actualization of the Nigeria presidency of Igbo presidency come in 2023.
To achieve national unity, the Ohanaeze President General, said the Nigerian politicians must avoid political myopia and contrived amnesia surrounding Nigerian political history, adding that Igbo has qualified persons that could meet up with the expectations of the citizens of the country.
Ohanaeze said: “As preparations for the nation’s 2023 general elections continue to gather steam, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has advised that whichever part of the country that produces the next president would send a conspicuous message to all Ndigbo Worldwide about their destiny in Nigeria.
“To secure the future and preserve national unity, Prof Obiozor said the Nigerian political elites must avoid the prevailing political myopia and contrived amnesia surrounding Nigerian political history over the imperative of North-South rotation.
“I understand clearly the dilemma faced by these leaders but Nigerian politics is at a point of no return where national destiny is at stake and where patriotism and political wisdom must supersede personal ambition.
“The Ohanaeze Ndigbo President General, therefore pleaded with the nation’s political class to drop all fears and prejudices against Ndigbo and to forge a common front to move the nation forward.”
“Ndigbo as an ethnic
nationality is blessed with a good number of capable, Nigerian patriotic and credible personalities who are eminently qualified to govern the country and meet the expectations of the citizenry through equity, justice and fairness.
“Indeed he or she will bring into the office, an amazing sense of peace and harmony to the country, ensure imperative of national unity and commitment to good governance with dedication, decency and decorum,” Obiozor said.
President of S-East would be most detribalised
Dr Nwodo, who was equally the former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, explained that the Igbo are front liners in entrepreneur, love for the country, innovation, and the only tribe in the country that co-habits peacefully with other tribes in the country without hurting their hosts.
He made the statements during the breakfast programme of the Silverbird Television while speaking on the topic ‘Road to 2023 Elections: the PDP and President of Igbo Extraction,’ adding that the Igbo have been doing whatever they can to improve on their host communities as if they belonged there originally.
The PDP chieftain equally disagreed with those saying that the Igbo would secede from Nigeria if given the opportunity to produce a president of the country in 2023, arguing that if that was to be possible, Nigeria would have become an Islamic State given the degree of terrorism in the North East.
He also urged all the politicians from the South East who are interested in becoming the president of Nigeria to declare their interest, insisting that the apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, would decide who amongst the aspirants would represent the best interest of Ndigbo.
“We have candidates who are showing interest to contest for the Presidential election in 2023 from the North East. How many years now has Nigeria waged war in the North East against the Islamization of this country or forming of the Islamic State of Nigeria backed by a very violent terrorist organization fighting for Islamization across the world? Are we saying that if we get a president of Nigeria from the North East, Nigeria will then become an Islamic State and rule us like local governments that are conquered in the North East? Nobody is saying so.
“In the South West, there is a strong agitation for Oduduwa State, why are we not saying that South West would secede if someone from the region becomes the President of Nigeria? Why is the case of the South East different? I think there is a jaundiced situation in Nigeria in South East.
“Let me use this opportunity to say this, in the United States of America, they appreciate what the Jews put on the table; they are important in the economy, politics, infrastructure, and in science and technology of the Americans. In the same vein, the Igbo are front liners in entrepreneur, innovation, and love for Nigeria, and indeed, the only tribe in Nigeria that co-habits with other tribes peacefully in Nigeria, carrying out their enterprise without injuring their host communities. They do everything to improve what they can in their host communities as if they were born there.
No other tribe in Nigeria does that. Is this not a mark that the Igbo love Nigeria and want to be in Nigeria? Why are people afraid that the Igbo will secede if they are allowed to produce a president of Nigeria? An Igbo president would be the most detribalized president Nigeria would ever produce because if he does anything outside that, he would be endangering the lives of Igbo men and women doing their businesses outside Igbo communities. Nigeria should stop marginalizing the Igbo as if we are an undue threat to a federation where we have done everything to prove our Nigerianness to our fellow countrymen and women. A rethink is necessary,” he said.
While saying that a president of Nigeria of Igbo extraction in 2023 would translate to fairness and equity, he urged the federal government to negotiate with the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPoB, to end the issues agitating the minds of the people of South East.
He also said that zoning of the presidential seat and restructuring of Nigeria are critical for the survival of the country.
“Restructuring is critical for the survival of Nigeria. You cannot have a feeding bottle, feeding the 36 states and the federal capital territory, and the milk is drying up and you still hold onto the bottle to improve the economy. It is not possible. In the first republic, we had four regions that tapped massively from the natural and agricultural potentials from their zones to develop at their own pace.
The Eastern Region run by Michael Okpara was the fastest developing region in the world. We need to repeat this feat by decentralizing the federal government. What we are doing now is not a federation but a unitary government where the centre is so strong and the federating units so weak. None of the states except Lagos, Kano, or Rivers can stand on their feet.
“As it stands now, we are using 95% of our resources to service our loans. Is it possible to survive with that,? he queried.