By Ikechukwu Odu

NSUKKA—The former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP,  Okwesilieze Nwodo, has said that Mr. Peter Obi, of the Labour Party could actualize the dream of South Easterners by winning the Presidential election  in 2023.

Nwodo, who was governor of Enugu State equally said that the Igbo would not remain political slaves serving other geo-political zones in the country.

While expressing disappointment on the PDP, and the All Progressives Congress, APC, for denying the Igbo aspirants their presidential tickets, he lambasted some Igbo politicians who  abandoned their brother-aspirants to  campaign for their counterparts from other zones in their parties.

He added that this is a period of political alignment and negotiations for the Igbo in order to find a platform to actualize their political dreams and remain relevant in Nigerian politics.

“Igbo  will not remain political slaves serving other geo-political zones in Nigeria. I know that politics is dynamic. This is a period of political alignment and re-alignment for the Igbo politicians so that our common interest can see the light of the day.

“The Igbo would be looking for allies who can meet their irreducible minimum to remain part of Nigeria political system. While they look for that in the major political parties, they have a big plan B in other parties. I know that the two important Igbo candidates would be on the ballot paper for their political parties. 

The one that is most promising  is Mr. Peter Obi, of the Labour Party. Dumebi Kachikwu, the younger brother to the former Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, also secured the ticket of African Democratic Congress. So, if we do not get anything from APC and PDP, we can get something through other political parties.

“So, this is a period of negotiations, alignments and re-alignments.The Igbo will not just give up like that. We are not happy about how we were treated by APC and PDP, but the game is still on. It is not the end of it yet. I am happy that we have alternatives to remain relevant in Nigeria politics.

“For those of  us who have been campaigning for South East presidency, we are not happy that some of our leaders in PDP and APC didn’t join in this struggle. If you are talking about two PDP Governors in South East who campaigned for South South aspirant, what about the Senate Majority Whip, Orji Ozor Kalu,  and Governor of Imo State ,Hope Uzodinma, who campaigned for Ahmed Lawan  when we had strong aspirants from South East in their parties? Our Igbo political leaders didn’t do well this time, especially when they knew that it was the turn of South East to produce a president for the country in 2023, ” he said.

Also speaking on the Igbo Presidency in 2023, the President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State, Prof. Damian Opata, said that the Igbo must do a critical self reflection on their political strategies in order to get incorporated into the Nigerian federation and remain relevant in the political space.

The don who said that the present Igbo politicians lack the sagacity like those of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, and Michael Okpara, equally bemoaned the loss of collective solidarity of the people by our present crop of politicians.

“There is lack of political sagacity which the Igbo politicians of old like Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, and Dr. Michael Okpara, had among our present crop of politicians in South East Nigeria. The duo had the trust of the people and they delivered. We have lost that sense of collective  solidarity. If it is possible, the Igbo should set up a committee to look into the reasons that led to the loss of collective solidarity which ruled them in the past.

“The level of  grassroot political consultations among the Igbo  have reduced too. People can just emerge on their own without proper political consultations. They do not deepen their consultations to cover different aspects of Igbo socio-political  lives so that they can engage many people and carry them  along with them,” he said.

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