Former Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme, President of Ohaneze Ndigbo in Anambra State, Chief Damian Okeke Ogene and other Igbo leaders
recently called for Igbo presidency, saying, it was long overdue.
Ekwueme who did not specify if the Igbos should take their shot come 2019, said: “I pray that the other people (Igbos) can take it up from
there and make progress.”
The former vice president, who spoke at St Bernard Catholic Church, Calabar, the Cross River State capital, during the child dedication ceremony of Chief and Lolo Chukwuemeka Egwuonwu (KSM), added: “I would have contested for the number one position in 1987 but the military intervened in 1983 and the civilian regime was cut short.”
To Ogene, who was also at the event, “an Igbo presidency is overdue but as far as I am concerned it is not something that is coming out
“Our President-General, Chief Nnia Nwodo, is going to make the stand of Ohaneze known as regards to the presidency. Igbo presidency is long over due whether it is 2019 or 2023, our own President General will make our stand known.”
A few weeks back, former President Olusegun Obasanjo had expressed support for the South-East to produce the country’s next president.
Obasanjo, who did not mention the time for such opportunity, explained his submission was his personal view and added that, the “problem of justice and marginalisation have been major source of conflicts between ethnic and regional divisions in the country.”
The former president made this known when the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Ogun State chapter, organised a special New Year service at his Hilltop residence in Abeokuta.
Obasanjo disclosed that it was part of his resolve for a just and fair country that made him to work for the emergence of a South-South
president in 2009.
“But, irrespective of the thinking of the people ahead of 2019, I personally think that South-East should have a go at the Presidency, too.”
The call for Igbo presidency is not without opposition, even from among the Igbo. The Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) lashed out against former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo after he rooted for an Igbo presidency.
The group said: “Nobody should rejoice over the statement by Obasanjo because he will never do or say anything good about Igbo. For him to solicit for Igbo president is not in the interest of Ndigbo.
“We in MASSOB cannot take him serious. If he means to show remorse for all the wrong things he did against Igbo, he should first of all pay solidarity visits to the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and the traditional and religious leaders in this area.”
Similarly, the Enugu State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) rejected former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s suggestion that the South-East should produce the country’s President in 2019.
The Publicity Secretary of the party in Enugu State, Mrs. Kate Offor, who spoke to journalists while welcoming former Senate President, Chief Ken Nnamani, and other new entrants in the South-East to the APC, said Igbos would wait for President Muhammadu Buhari to complete two terms of four years before having a shot at the Presidency.
With due respect to all the various views on the subject matter, our position is that the Igbo deserve the presidency of Nigeria. However,
the Igbo themselves have to decide what they want from Nigeria.
A situation where some Igbo youths are insisting on Biafra, while many of their elders are demanding for presidency and restructuring of Nigeria is not likely to help their cause.
If the Igbo want the presidency, then, they should put their acts together to actualize it. When the Igbo are united they can achieve their dreams in a united Nigeria, including the coveted Presidency.