‘Only progressive-minded Igbo can contest 2023 presidency’

By Leo Sobechi, Abuja |   21 July 2021   |   3:08 am  

Chris Baywood-Ibeh


Frontline entrepreneur, Emperor Chris Baywood Ibe, has said only a progressive-minded Igbo person could summon the courage to participate in the 2023 presidential contest.

Ibe, who is a chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC), said although he was surprised by an online poll that placed him atop other possible aspirants for the top job, his decision to seek the presidential ticket of APC is borne out of historical necessity.

He declared that nearly all the big names in Nigerian politics know that 2023 would be a year of reckoning for leaders that have betrayed the trust of the masses.

According to the international businessman, the economic situation in the country has raised the rage of young people to boiling point. He noted that this has come to a state where youths can no longer stand the duplicity of career politicians

The APC chieftain, who spoke to The Guardian in Abuja, regretted that many unmet expectations of the people, particularly youth and women, have raised their consciousness to demand accountability from politicians.

He stated: “I think they (youths) are quite disenfranchised and this is one of the things I say everywhere I speak. Even in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, when we engaged the African Union, one of the things I told them is that the not-too-young-to-run is good, but the only way to get it going is not just through legislation.

“You have to make sure the legislative act is concrete, youths are willing and ready, but when you do not have money, when you do not have a brand name, you do not have your own network, how do you work?”

Ibe decried the lack of purposeful grooming of future leaders, remarking that leadership internship is necessary to avoid the mistakes leaders make by appropriating public service for personal aggrandisement.

“This internship cuts across all aspects of life. For example, a youth is recruited to the National Assembly to do internship for one year. Within one year, he would have built his brand name, his network and would have made some little money.

“He would have had contacts, so that tomorrow, if he appears to say, vote for me, I want to go to the State Assembly, you cannot stand up to say, who is Godwin for example, because with such exposure, Godwin has got a name and image to protect,” he said.

While stressing that he would definitely partake in the APC presidential primary, Ibe maintained that there is need to lower the entry barriers for young people to participate in politics.

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