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2023 Igbo President: Your fate lies with Buhari – VON DG to Ndigbo

Valentine Chinyem

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The Director General, Voice of Nigeria (VON), Osita Okechukwu, has urged the umbrella Igbo socio-cultural association, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, to strategise for the actualisation of the 2023 Igbo presidency rather than agonise.

Reacting to the statement of Ohaneze Ndigbo to the effect that 2023 Igbo presidency quest is a plot to hoodwink Ndigbo, Okechukwu, said: “May I once more appeal to the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo to start organising for Nigeria president of Igbo extraction in 2023, instead of agonising.

“It is surreal for the truism that equity, natural justice and good conscience are on our side. All we need do as the needful is for the Ohanaeze Ndigbo leadership to think out of the box, reflect deeply, and dust off ancient stereotypes and prejudices by voting for President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The real politik is that voting Buhari will better galvanise and strengthen our alliance with the North, more than voting for Atiku Abubakar. Buhari has a vote bank of 10-12 million voters, mostly his cult followership reflected in his bids in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015 presidential elections.”

The All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, further asked: “Is it not disheartening for the National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prince Uche Achi-Okpagha to agonise thus?”

“Note that neither President Buhari nor any Northern political stalwart has made a pronouncement on the 2023 presidency. Instead they have allowed some cabinet members of Yorubas extraction, including Osinbajo and Fashola, to dissipate energy to the effect that South West would have presidency in 2023. It is an orchestrated plot to hoodwink the people of the two regions in order to elicit their votes.”

“May one remind Ohanaeze leadership of the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha’s statement: ‘This obviously might not be most appropriate time. You remember, there was a programme in the South-East where Mr. President asked me to represent him and I flew the kite by telling the south-eastern states that their quickest and easiest means to presidency is to support President Buhari’s second term.

“’Meaning that they can short circuit the period in terms of only having him there for another four years and whatever they do in 2019 will determine what will happen thereafter because politics is a game of numbers and it is like a cooperative society.”

“Whatever you bring as an investment when dividends are going to be shared, you will get proportionate with your investment and your investment in politics is what you bring to the table and I urge the South East to look at this matter seriously that every time we have a presidency in Nigeria, it is negotiated in several ways. Either negotiated by votes or what you bring to the table and you must negotiate from the position of strength,’” he quoted the SGF.

Reacting further to the statement, the VON DG said: “Accordingly, permit me to repeat that South East is the only geopolitical zone in the southern belt that has not presided over Nigeria from the Aso Villa, since the rotation of presidency between northern and southern belts commenced in 1999. (Therefore) 2023 is our turn, unless we wittingly or unwittingly throw it away.

“Hence it is my candid view that with such immeasurable equity, natural justice and good conscience on our side, 2023 president is Ndigbo’s turn; unless Ohanaeze continues to angonise instead of organising. The presidency rotation convention we mustn’t forget was in the first place, constructed to engender equity, peace and harmony of our dear nation. Let’s harvest it.

“One therefore appeals to Ohanaeze leadership to place the core Igbo interest above partisanship and demagoguery; for the quickest and surest route to end the vexatious issue of marginalisation and create a sense of belonging is 2023 president of Igbo extraction,” he noted.

  1. The SUN