•Insists zone’ll not accept the VP slot
By Anayo Okoli, ENUGU
Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, yesterday, said that the plot by the All Progressives Congress, APC and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to sideline the southeast zone in the 2023 Presidential race will fail.
The group also ruled out the possibility of accepting a vice presidential slot.
Addressing the opening section of the Imeobi – Ohanaeze meeting, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof George Obiozor, warned that no Easterner should denigrate himself with the position of the Vice President in 2023.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo decried the double-dealing by the PDP and APC over zoning and rotation, saying that it is a conspiracy to deprive the South East of the right to produce a President.
The apex Igbo socio-cultural body warned that no South-East person should “denigrate himself or herself with the position of a Vice President.
“The clamour for an Igbo to be elected as a President of Nigeria is morally and historically justifiable. It is a project every Igbo must commit himself or herself to.
“To this end, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has made contacts with several Nigerian leaders with respect to the right of the South East to produce a President for the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“All the double-dealings about zoning and rotation of power is an orchestrated conspiracy to deprive the South East of the right to produce a president.
“I want to assure all of you that as hard as they may try, they will surely fail. Ours is a right and a just cause.
“I wish to use this opportunity to encourage all the Presidential aspirants from the South East to remain focused, tenacious and optimistic.
“In fact, we are fully committed to the resolution by the Southern and Middle Belt Leadership Forum, SMBLF, that no Southerner, in fact, a South Easterner for that matter, should denigrate himself or herself with the position of a Vice President.
“The Political Action Committee (PAC) of Ohanaeze Ndigbo will still meet several eminent Nigerians to persuade them to appreciate the need for a South easterner to be elected a president of Nigeria”, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof. George Obiozor said in his opening speech before the commencement of the Ime Obi meeting, the first since Obiozor’s election in January 2021.
Ohanaeze also lamented the insecurity that has pervaded almost all parts of Nigeria but each geo-political zone has its own peculiarity.
“The advent of insecurity in the South East is both bizarre and dramatic. The South-East had been adjudged the most serene and peaceful zone in Nigeria until April 5, 2021, when gunmen attacked the Correctional Facility in Owerri, Imo State and freed a total of 1,844 prison inmates. Since the April 5 episode, insecurity in the South East has attained an unprecedented and unbearable crescendo”.
In condemning the spate of violence in the South East, Ohanaeze Ndigbo also called attention “to the strategic capacity of the local non-state actors to overwhelm a highly fortified correction centre and discharging a total of 1,844 inmates without any arrest.”
He also lamented the negative impact of the Monday sit-at-home, describing it as “a slur on the Igbo.
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” It is strange for a group to face the barrel of the gun inwards. Many people have estimated the huge loss the South East incurs on a weekly basis as a result of the sit-at-home order. Ohanaeze Ndigbo has tried severally to persuade our youths to realize the consequences of their actions.”
Ohanaeze also stressed the need for Alaigbo Stabilisation Fund (ASF), saying it is pressing now to see its take off.
“The ASF is an initiative that will promote and enhance the Aku Ruo Ulo philosophy as enunciated by Ohanaeze Ndigbo. In addition, ASF will create employment opportunities thereby reducing youth restiveness in Alaigbo.”
Ohanaeze restated its appeal to President Buhari to release the detained IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
“I once again appeal to Mr. President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to find a way towards a political solution to the release of our son Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and other Igbo youths in detention.
“We seek healing, national unity, progress on a platform of justice, equity, fairness and a sense of belonging in Nigeria”
Some of the leaders at the meeting included Mbazuluike Amechi, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Nnia Nwodo, Sen. Chris Anyanwu, Enwo Igariwey, Sen. Victor Umeh, Prof. Peter Umeadi and Prof Fred Eze.