The duo of first Republic Minister of Aviation, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, and former governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, have urged the North and South-West to back the presidential ambition of Igbos of the South-East geopolitical zone, come the 2023 general elections.
The two elder statesmen told Sunday Telegraph that the South-East alone cannot realize this ambition without the support and contributions of other geopolitical zones.
They also posited that the two major political parties -the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – should endeavor to nominate candidates from the South-East as their presidential candidates during their primary elections. On the quest for a Nigerian president from the East, Amaechi said: “This is long over due and the time is now.
It doesn’t stop at making agitations that it is our turn because we, as Ndigbo, should reach out to stakeholders and politicians from the North, the South-West and South- South to actualize this dream.
“You cannot clap with one hand to make a sound and that is why we must discuss and create a strong platform with them so that we can make this happen.” Chukwuemeka EZEIFE, on his part, recalled that during the 1999 general elections, the PDP and APP produced two candidates from the South West and succeeded in producing Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as president of the country.
“Our political parties should borrow from what happened in 1999 where the Peoples Democratic Party produced Olusegun Obasanjo and Chief Olu Falae from the All People’s Party as candidates from the South-West and that was how the West got the presidency.
“This was after consultations with the geopolitical zones in the country and it worked. “Based on the number of states and numerical strength of the South-East it would be difficult for us to achieve this and should another zone join forces with other zones against us, we may well forget the 2023 general elections,” he said.
The duo further called for summit of top Igbo leaders, politicians and stakeholders from the industrial sector to brainstorm on the way forward and also prune down the number of aspirants from the South-East across the political parties to actualize this goal.
“Most of the time, we parade too many aspirants and at the end, we achieve nothing and other zones are watching if are ready to get it right this time,” Amaechi said.