From Maurice Okafor,Enugu
The former National chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance[APGA] and the immediate past senator of Anambra Central senatorial district,Senator Sir Victor Umeh, has joined the clarion call for the next President of Nigeria in 2023 to be of Igbo extraction.Senator Umeh asserted that a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction in 2023 is the best way to heal the wounds in Nigeria, and if scuttled will mean postponing the nation’s doomsday. .
Senator Victor Umeh dropped this hints in a chat with a select group of Journalists during the final rites accorded to Late Justice Ezebuilo Ozobu,the first Ohanaeze President General,by the Igbo nation at the Ohanaeze National secretariat,located at No Seven Parks avenue,GRA, Enugu, a fortnight ago.
While he acknowledged late Justice Ozobu, as one of the pacesetters in the Igbo struggle against marginalization, who is supposed to be immortalized with physical structures, in as much as his legacies and footprints will continue to ignite the struggle for liberation and reintegration as equal stakeholders in Nigeria, appealing 2023 is the ripe time for an Igbo man to preside over the affairs of Nigeria..
Umeh stated, ‘Well, in line with why we are gathered here, let us also believe that Igbo of Nigeria are very strong people and cannot be whisked away in the scheme of things. No matter what is been done in Nigeria, the Igbos should be accorded their rightful position for Nigeria to make progress and I am one person who shares in that conviction. I believe that the Igbos of Nigeria are an important integral part of this country, if this country will succeed’.
He stressed that it will be very unfair for Ndigbo to be denied the opportunity to produce the president of the country in 2023,arguing that there are quite a lot of experienced political juggernauts from the South East zone,who are ably qualified and capable to rule Nigeria as from 2023. And if given the chance, an Igbo man as president will unite and turn around the fortunes of Nigeria for better.
His words,’So presidency of Nigeria cannot continue to be denied the Igbos. One is that we are capable, we are qualified and e have men that can turn the fortunes of Nigeria round for the better. We have the education; we have the versatility and the competence. We can offer Nigeria a good President that will be better for other parts of Nigeria more than the Igbo part of Nigeria, because we always think about perfection and how to do things in the best interest of all. This is because we live everywhere. It is only when an Igbo man becomes President, that this country can truly be united’.
If we continue to play politics the way we are playing it today, we are postponing the doomsday for Nigeria. The best way to heal the wounds in Nigeria is by giving an Igbo man a chance to become President. If we don’t have people who can do the job, it would be a different thing; but I tell you Igbos rank among the best groups that can provide leadership to Nigeria. So I am pleading with the rest of the country, not with arrogance, to try a President from Igbo land for Nigeria. Let them test it and see, because I know that our people have excelled all over the world; in all spheres of education and endeavor. Why can’t Nigeria try a person from this part of Nigeria to lead Nigeria, so that we will compare. So for me, in 2023, in any way it can be done, let us have an Igbo President for Nigeria. It is going to serve Nigeria better; it will unite Nigeria and it will forever kill the winds of the Civil war Nigeria fought. We must make Nigeria a true united country.
He recalled that while he was in the National assembly as senator representing Anambra Central senatorial district,he made frantic efforts to prove that a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction in 2023 is what will douse tension of separation from various groups in the country and restore the once unity of purpose in our national life..
He stated, ‘When I was in the Senate, I put it to them that doing things and excluding the Igbos is not helping Nigeria, because we have something to offer Nigeria; and that is what will kill all these agitations from various groups. Let us go round and bring back that unity of purpose in our national life. Anytime, any day, I am for Igbo Presidency in 2023. If they can do that, you will see that Nigeria will be better. I am not saying that we have the best of knowledge, but we do have one of the best of knowledge that you can get in the world. Anywhere you put an Igbo man, even outside the shores of this country, he will continue to excel. So let us use our strength to serve Nigeria. What the government of Nigeria and the Nigerian people should be looking for will be to harness the great potentials in any Igbo man or any Nigerian of any tribe. Let us look for the best and by going round, we will be able to source the best for the country’.