Denying Igbo 2023 Presidency Will Worsen Secessionist Agitations-Ohaneze Ndigbo
By Jennifer Ugwueke
Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, the Igbo sociocultural association, has lent its voice to the clamour for an Igbo to emerge president in 2023.
Reacting to a comment made by Adeseye Ogunlewe, a former minister of works, who said the south-east has a “problem of leadership”, the group said an Igbo presidency is crucial to the survival of Nigeria beyond 2023.
Ogunlewe, who spoke on Arise TV on Wednesday, said the south-east is “too divided”, adding that an “Imo person, an Enugu person, an Ebonyi man will not listen to themselves”.
But in a statement issued on Friday, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, the secretary-general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, said attempts to “intimidate a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction is the quickest route to disintegration and an unending secessionist movement in Nigeria”.
He called on Nigerians to “ignore” Ogunlewe, adding that “2023 is not about South East but the repair of a country sinking deep into the abyss of disintegration and insecurity”.
“The survival of Nigeria beyond 2023 lies in the fact that every section of the country had tasted the Presidency except the Igbo, and attempts by the fifth columnist to coax and intimidate a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction is the quickest route to disintegration and an unending secessionist movement in Nigeria,” the statement reads in part.
“We are clamouring for Igbo presidency, not South-East presidency, whether an Igbo from Niger Delta or Benue or Kogi or South East emerges in any major political party, we will identify with him and support him.
“Igbo leadership is at the forefront of this noble project, and Igbo presidential hopefuls are putting finishing touches on 2023 Presidency, surely we hope Ogunlewe will jump the ship immediately Igbo succeed President Muhammadu in 2023.”