Buhari shortest route to Igbo Presidency, says APC spokesman
SPOKESPERSON of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South-East, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, has canvassed support for the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government, saying it was the easiest way an Igbo man could occupy the presidency at the end of his administration.
Addressing guests after the Junior Chamber International (JCI) U.S.A., Enugu Chapter, a Non-governmental organisation (NGO), honoured him with an award alongside three other prominent Nigerians, for his struggle to advance democracy in Nigeria, Okechukwu warned Ndigbo to refrain from anything that would derail the present administration.
He said: “Buhari’s eight-year term is the fastest route to actualising our dream for a president of Igbo extraction, through peaceful means — not hate propaganda. From the zoning convention, when you consider all factors in our favour, in 2023, it will be our turn, as our brothers in the Southwest and South South had been president since our return to civil rule in 1999.”
According to Okechukwu: “In 2023, Ndigbo could argue that the South West has given Nigeria a president for eight years; the north has produced a president and the South-South has produced a president. So, it is proper that the South-East should give the country a president as well.”
The event tagged “Sustainable Development: The Role of Young Active Citizens,” was held at the weekend in Enugu. It was the annual convention of the JCI, Enugu Chapter during which it celebrated its “30 years of impact since 1985.”
Okechukwu regretted that, even up till now, there are some northerners eyeing President Buhari’s position so that at the end of his first tenure, another northerner might take over and such person would want to preside over the affairs of the nation for eight years before the rotation will come to the South-East zone.
Such plan will not favour the Igbo; hence, Ndigbo should rally round Buhari now to enable him succeed, so that at the end of his second tenure, naturally it will be the turn of Ndigbo to produce Nigeria’s president,” he emphasised.
I call on you my people to support President Buhari because he is a man of his words. He has promised that he is going to reactivate the coal mine in Enugu, rehabilitate the deplorable federal roads in the southeast zone and build the second Niger bridge. Let’s give him some time.”
“We must as Ndigbo who have contributed more than any other ethnic group to the growth and development of Nigeria, plot our graph very well in the political equation of Nigeria,” he cautioned.
The APC chieftain warned that the Igbo should not be deceived into believing that youth unemployment, decay infrastructure and other socio-political problems were peculiar to the southeast. “The gross unemployment, despair, despondency among youths, is not limited to our southeast zone,” he stressed.
According to him, such problems cut across the entire nation, describing it as a “sordid situation” which was worrisome to President Buhari, the governors, legislators and other stakeholders. “Nobody, except sadists, are happy that we are hungry,” he remarked.
“Let nobody tell the Igbos that it is because they don’t have their own country, and that’s why we don’t progress or prosper,” he said.
He stressed that at no time in Nigeria’s history did she need more disciplined, hardworking and responsible youths than now, recalling that the same despair, gross unemployment nationwide which Nigeria currently faced also hit the whole of America in 1915 prompting Mr Henry Giessenbier to found Junior Chamber International on 13th October, 1915 to inculcate the above qualities in young people.
He said the lesson for Nigeria to learn from the 1915 American experience was that the U.S.A. through discipline, sheer commitment and responsible patriots, surmounted the harsh realities of the early last century. “Nigeria shall overcome the harsh realities of today, the same way America sailed out of the troubled water times. All we require like the Americans is love for our dear country, hard work, perseverance and steadfastness,” Okechukwu said.
Joining other prominent Nigerians and groups to call for the release of the director of Radio Biafra, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, who has been detained since October 19, Okechukwu, nevertheless, pointed out that Kanu’s “narrative is vile and condemnable,” adding that “his negative propaganda shows that he neither does not care about the strides Ndigbo made nationwide nor the lives of Ndigbo in Dutse, Potiskum, Mubi or Akure. My humble self fought in Boys Company in Biafra and knows the danger of Kanu’s negative narrative.”