Listen to article
Ahead of the Presidential primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the apex Igbo socio-cultural and political organisation, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to keep a date with history by supporting the South East to attain power.
Their passionate appeal came few days to the National Convention of the ruling party and barely a week after the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) elected former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, a northerner as its standard-bearer. Ohanaeze urged the President to be courageous enough to choose a South-Easterner as his preferred aspirant.
The President had at a meeting with the governors of the APC within the week asked them to allow him nominate his successor from within the party. In an interview with Saturday Sun, yesterday, National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Dr. Alex Ogbonnia said it would be immoral a northerner to hand over to another northerner in a country where rotational Presidency between the north and south was clearly spelt out.
He expressed happiness that the APC had not taken a decision on the issue and therefore, appealed to the party to do the right thing by nominating a candidate of South East origin.
“What we expect from the APC is that the person piloting the ship of state as at now is President Muhammadu Buhari. He’s to determine the political dynamics of this country. Anything short of that means the person is being economical with the truth. For example, when Abdulsalami Abubakar was head of state, he handed over to the South; during the turn of President Olusegun Obasanjo, he handed over to President Umaru Ya’adua from the North. So, if the rotational Presidency between the North and the South is altered or disrupted, it’s at the time of President Buhari. In fact, he’s in the best position to determine what can happen to Nigeria. So, for the peace and cohesion we have been enjoying in this country to be sustained, the Presidency should come to the South East and the man in charge is Buhari.
All eyes are on him. We are happy that the APC has not taken the decision. So, we are asking him to be courageous, to embrace fairness and equity for the corporate existence of this country. And also for sustainable national development because there cannot be national development; there cannot be unity when there is crisis, when there is inequity, when there is injustice. We’re happy that they have not decided, so, they can do the right thing,” Ogbonnia said.
The Ohanaeze spokesman who frowned at the outcome of the PDP presidential primary described it as “a treacherous political party which changed its goal post at the middle of the game.” Prior to this period, Ogbonnia had indicated that the Igbo would soon challenge the PDP with their consensus candidate, insisting that the project of a Nigerian President of South East extraction was an idea whose time had come; so, no going back. Another leading ethnic organisation, the Igbo National Council (INC) has advised the APC against toeing the path of the PDP in picking its presidential candidate, warning that it would mobilise Ndigbo to vote against them in the 2023 elections.