From Magnus Eze, Enugu
Apex Igbo organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, yesterday, said there was no going back on the push for a president of Igbo origin in 2023.
It described the clamour for the president by Igbo as equity-inspired, adding that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had betrayed Igbo in spite its long years of support to the party.
Reacting to the recently released committee report of the PDP bordering on the 2023 presidential election, the Igbo group said they would rely on their goodwill across the geopolitical zones to push for the position.
PDP Committee on the Review of the 2019 General Elections, headed by Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed, had recommended that the party should allow aspirants from all parts of the country to contest for its 2023 presidential ticket.
Mohammed, however, acknowledge that “ in line with certain unwritten conventions of the nation’s history, many people think that for fairness and equity, the North-East and South-East geo-political zones that have had the shortest stints at the Presidency should be given special consideration in choosing the presidential flag bearer of the party for the 2023 elections.”
Ohanaeze said the report by the Mohammed-led committee was most despicable, un-reflective and unconscionable.
A statement by Ohanaeze’s National Publicity Secretary, Alex Ogbonnia, said it was worrisome that some highly placed Nigerians who had benefited so much from the unity of the country, would be inclined to decisions and actions that would further inflame the passions of the patient, but aggrieved part of the country.
Ohanaeze said Nigerians agreed on rotation of presidency between the North and the South, and that it was the turn of the South it vie for the position after the expiration of the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“For clarity purposes, both the South West and the South South had both taken their turns in the persons of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan respectively. It is rather very unpatriotic and a trifle on the sensibilities of Igbo for the committee to even suggest the rotation of the presidency to the North East in the first instance and open to every part of Nigeria as a major slight.”
“It is disturbing that all the indignities, perceived and real, that the South East suffer in the current dispensation are the outcome of Igbo support to the PDP since 1999. It is on record that in 1999, Igbo were in hock with the PDP through which Chief Olusegun Obasanjo emerged President, same in 2003 and subsequent elections. On the other hand, the Igbo had invested much political capital in the PDP only to be betrayed by its apparent lack in principles. The leadership of the PDP is advised to retract the comment made by Bala Mohammed and countermand the content of the obnoxious committee report in the interest of the party.”