.Igbo presidency

•Vow to sanction any Igbo politician who accepts to be running mate to candidates from other regions

•Threaten to quit Nigeria, if…

Clark restates support for S-East

By Luminous Jannamike & Anayo Okoli, ABUJA

Notable personalities from the Southeast, under the aegis of Igbo Elders Consultative Forum, IECF, have insisted that their geo-political zone must produce the next president of Nigeria.

They also threatened heavy sanctions against any Igbo politician who accepts to be presidential running mate to any person outside the South-East zone.

The chairman of the forum and former Governor of Anambra State, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, made the remarks while speaking to journalists in Abuja on Wednesday.

Present at the briefing were the former Minister of Education, Prof. S. C Madubuike; Secretary-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo (FCT chapter), Dr Nkonye Kingsley; His Royal Majesty, Igwe Ibe Nwosu, among several leading Igbo scholars and traditional title holders.

Ezeife insisted that it is either the South East is allowed to produce Nigeria’s next president in 2023 or the region will quit the country.“ He said: “Emboldened by the increasing demand and support by credible and patriotic Nigerians for power to shift to the South in 2023, the Igbo Elders Forum hereby encourages visionary, credible and creative presidential materials of South-East zone to declare their intension for Presidency and pursue it with every sense of seriousness, vigour and commitment.

“We are very serious about this directive. Do not mind those unserious bootlickers who are angling to be running mates to candidates from other parts of the country, as the Igbos will not take it lightly with any of our sons or daughters who accept to be running mates to any person outside the South-East zone in 2023.

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“It is either we are allowed to produce the president of this country in 2023 to change the appalling narrative of continued decay, poverty, insecurity, poor governance, corruption and maladministration in Nigeria or out of it. No half measure, as serious sanctions will be visited on any Igbo man or woman that sabotages this noble and patriotic decision of our people to provide for Nigeria a credible, visionary and creative president.

“Legally, morally, and strategically, it is the turn of the South-East to produce the next president of the country as the other zones have been given the opportunity to serve this country in that capacity.”

Ezeife also argued that it is not just for the sake of equity, justice and fairness, but also for a change of narrative of Nigeria, which he described as the sleeping giant of Africa.

In the same vein, the Secretary of IECF, Prof. Charles Nwekeaku, warned that any political party that does not zone its presidential ticket to the southeast will lose the region’s votes.

“We are waiting for them (political parties), as they will meet their waterloo this time if they insist on shortchanging the southeast people this opportunity of producing a credible, patriotic, detribalised and dynamic president of Nigeria in 2023,” he said.

Clark restates support for S-East

Also, a  statesman and Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, yesterday restated his position that the people of the South East region should produce Nigeria’s president in 2023.

Clark said his reason was not that they are Igbo or people from  South East but because they are Nigerians.

Chief Clark who spoke during a programme on national television, Arise,  insisted that it would be unfair to deny the South East the opportunity to produce the President next year.

According to him, after the civil war, Gen. Yakubu Gowon announced that there was no victor no vanquished and wondered what has happened to that declaration if the people of South-East are denied the Presidency.

He maintained that every part of the country has had a fair share of testing political power at the Presidency except the South East.

Clark vehemently argued that the South-East should be given the opportunity to produce the President next year because they are a strong component of the country and denying them amounts to injustice.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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