inister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba has advised the Igbo to brace up and not to regard the agitation for a presidency of Igbo extraction in 2023 as a free gift.
Instead, Nwajiuba said the South East should present an aspirant who will be acceptable to other Nigerians in 2023.
The minister, who spoke at an interactive session with journalists, noted that at no time was the presidency ceded to any section of the country.
“Anybody talking about Igbo presidency should be careful because there was never a time we heard about Hausa presidency. When the Yoruba were contesting, we did not hear of Yoruba presidency, why is our own different?” he asked.
According to him, at no time were aspirants from the South East prevented from contesting for the presidency, noting that Dr. Alex Ekwueme and Chief Jim Nwobodo contested the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ticket in 1999; while Rochas Okorocha contested against Muhammadu Buhari in 2014, for All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket.
“There is no time people involved in politics will cede a position to anybody. Up to 2015, the only tribe that did not contest for the APC primary is the Yoruba.
“The North West ran, North East ran, North Central vied, South East vied.
“If Owelle Rochas Okorocha had defeated Buhari in the APC primaries, are we going to be talking about Igbo presidency now?
“But what is important if the Igbo want to become president, it is not for you to say it’s your turn.
“Any day you bring out an aspirant that is acceptable to other Nigerians, that is the day you indeed, want the position of president in Nigeria. All you need is majority.
“There was never a time we as Igbo did not cont
est in the primaries, the only thing was that we were not voted, he stated.
Nwajiuba advised the Igbo to begin now to search for an acceptable aspirant among them.
He warned that the position would again elude them if they fail to bring a person that is acceptable to other Nigerians,
According to him, Ekwueme was coasting home to victory in the PDP presidential primary in 1999 before the entry of Senator Jim Nwobodo in the race who shared the South East votes with Ekwueme, thus depriving him of the PDP ticket.