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SS leaders back SE on 2023 presidential bid

Clark: We are together, we are one

 

Ohaneze Ndigbo: It’s time to synergize among ourselves

 

Some prominent leaders of the South-South geopolitical zone, yesterday, threw their weights behind the clamour by the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and various pressure groups for the presidency of Nigeria to shift to the South-East in 2023.

 

 

The endorsement of the project came during a visit of the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and some South-East leaders led by the President General, Professor George Obiazor, to Chief Edwin Clark at his Asokoro residence, Abuja.

 

Those who joined Clark in receiving the Ohanaeze leaders were former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah; former Minister of Police Affairs, Alaowei Broderick Bozimo; Senator Bassey Henshaw; Ambassador Godknows Igali, among others.

 

Clark, a chieftain of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), the umbrella political pressure group in the South-South region, pledged the support of his people for a power shift to the South-East region at the expiration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s eightyear tenure which ends on May 29, 2023.

 

He said there was the need for the South- South to collaborate with the South-East on the 2023 presidential bid and urged all ethnic nationalities in the South-South region, including the Anioma (Delta State) and Ikwerre (Rivers State) to back the project.

 

“The era we have reached now is that we have agreed to work together, how do we go on, how do we move on? I think that is the stage we have reached. “I don’t belong to any political party, but I speak my mind.

 

The man who brought politics into Nigeria was late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. I knew him when  was 20 years. When he visited Warri, we trekked twelve miles to come and see him. Some of the problems we are having today in Delta was as a result of the support for Azikiwe and without that, we would not have gotten Midwest region that later became Bendel State and now Edo and Delta States. We are together, we are one.

 

“We are supporting the South-East region. Anybody from Midwest, anybody from Oshimili South and North, Aniocha South and North, Ika, Agbor or Ukwuani, if you say I am ready to be the President of Nigeria because I am an Igbo, that is punishable because when you do something that people don’t like, it is abominable. I have said it, all the Igbo in Anioma, in Delta and Rivers states; where ever they are, this is the time for Igbo, South- East President.

 

“We want the President coming after Buhari to come from the South-East, we are together,” he said.

 

The nonagenarian also traced the history of collaboration between the two regions to the 2014 National Conference, during which their leaders worked together on issues of common interests.

 

“We said that the South- East has five states, they should be given additional states so that everyone will have same number of states like in other zones. If that will stabilize Nigeria, create them,” he said.

 

Clark, however, advised the Ohanaeze Ndigbo to put its house in order and ensure that the various groups in the South-East worked together for the success of the vision.

 

“Let me advise, if you must fight a war or fighting for anything at all, we must put our house in order. What do we do with other voices that are not in tandem with our voices?

 

We must find a way to see what can be done, they have their own point, but at the same time, they should also listen to us,” he said.

 

President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Professor George Obiozor, who presented the position of his delegation, emphasised on the need for both regions to cooperate to achieve their common goals. He decried the rising state of insecurity across Nigeria and the usual resort by the Federal Government to deploy military troops to resolve every security challenge.

 

 

“Today, what we need is to synergise among ourselves. The day we will do it, history will change. We all know that we have the same kind of problems. “Honestly, you cannot hate one of us and like the other side.

 

For people who tell us that they will like people in the South-South more than the South-East or they will use one against the other, the time is over.

 

You can fool people for some time, but not forever. What we are facing today, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t know who does not believe in our course. “The national question is the issue that requires a different kind of solution and resolution.

 

The more you apply violence and mil-itary tactics to it, the more the country is fractionalized, the more the country is fractionalized, the more ethnic militia groups and eventually leads to what is called synchronised national crisis and the rest is history and inevitable disintegration.

 

“We should start doing something to address the problem. I urge the Federal Government to reconsider the use of force. I want the government to conspicuously impress the values of justice, equity and fairness as its true sense so that Nigeria will face clear sense of unity. It is time for the government and the people to start the process of healing. Nigeria is in agony and pains, it is time for national healing,” he said.

 

Obiozor was accompanied on the visit by his Majesty, the Obi of Obinugwu, Imo State, Dr. Cletus Ikechukwu Ilomuanya; Ohanaeze Secrerary General, Chief Okey Emuchay; Senator Ben Obi; Chief Onyema Ugochukwu; Prof. A.B.C. Nwosu; Chief Dubem Onyia; Chief Guy Ikoku; Hon. Goddy Nwazurike, among others

 

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