Posted by News Express | 28 October 2018 | 1,256 times
Not minding the discordant tunes being played by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and scheming regarding which geopolitical zone would produce the president in 2023, mainstream Ndigbo appears unperturbed. They insist they would decide their fate.
In fact, a very reliable source at the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, yesterday, confided in The Guardian that the body was not swayed by ongoing antics as it would soon meet to reveal the path the Igbo would thread regarding the forthcoming 2019 general elections and beyond.
Last Thursday, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, at a town hall meeting, urged the people of South West to vote for President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 elections in order to guarantee a return of power to the region in 2023. This view runs contrary to that canvassed earlier in the year by the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SFG), Boss Mustapha, when he promised that the APC would ensure that Igbo produced the president in 2023 should they support the second term aspiration of Buhari.
But in their separate reactions, leading lights in the South East insist that they were focused on the 2019 general elections, and on ensuring the restructuring of the country, just as they alleged that they have always been sidelined by the Buhari- led administration.
But the National Chairman of the United Progressives Party (UPP), Chief Chekwas Okorie, suggested the need for Ndigbo to convoke a general meeting on the issue, stressing that, even though there has been a general consensus that Igbo should be allowed to taste power at the centre, he does not expect it to happen without a struggle.
Former Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr. Joe Nworgu, who queried when Fashola and Ngige were made the spokespersons for the Yoruba and Igbo in the country, explained that the interest of the zone was how to go about 2019 and ensure the restructuring of the country.“Our focus is 2019 and restructuring. Whatever anybody is saying is just a ploy from the same table. Fashola spoke, Ngige spoke, but I want to know when they became spokespersons of the various zones where they come from. The Yoruba and the Igbo should work together to ensure that they achieve restructuring, and 2019 election is a referendum between those who want restructuring and those against restructuring. We have already known the feelings of the two leading political parties, and it is clear what they represent on the issue,” he said.
A chieftain of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Clem Nlemigbo said: “We are not surprised. We have always believed that the APC has no Igbo interest at heart and will always frustrate the zone. It is sad for anybody to begin to believe that only when Ndigbo vote APC will they have the opportunity to become president of the country. APGA is not worried, but is focused on winning the Presidency in 2019 using its candidate.”
Also, president Emeritus, Aka Ikenga, Chief Goddy Uwazuruike said: “It’s possible for South West to get the presidential ticket of APC in 2023. This is because APC is an amalgamation of North West and South West political lords. All the other zones are joiners. For record purposes, the APC was the brainchild of Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, but at the crucial meeting where the substratum of the party was decided, he was excluded. South East political leaders in APC are mere hangers-on in the corridors of power."
Former Minister of Information, Chief Tony Momoh, is of the view that whoever ever wants the Presidency must work hard for that to come to pass. He recalled that APC and President Buhari didn’t get up to 200, 000 votes out of the estimated nine million votes cast in the South East in 2015 because it calculated that PDP will win, while the South West supported the president.
•Excerpted from The Guardian report
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