2023: Ndigbo must be careful of Igbo presidency – Buhari’s minister

…Says 2023 presidency must not come as gift to zone

By Ezeocha Nzeh

With the continued clamour for the 2023 presidency to be ceded to South East geo political zone, the Minister of State, Education, Hon Emeka Nwajiuba has urged the South East to exercise caution in its quest or campaign for the “Igbo Presidency”.

Hon. Nwajiuba, as Igbo, warned that the people of the South East must not see the 2023 presidential as a gift to them, stressing that it would also remain an open contest as nobody barred the zone from contesting in previous election

The minister, who address journalist at his office on Monday, also advised that the Igbo must make sure that they present a nationally acceptable candidate, if they must win the presidency in 2023

He urged the zone to also detach tribal sentiments to their agitation, stressing that other ethnic groups that produced Nigeria’s president never associated it with the name of their tribes.

Nwajiuba emphasized that no aspirant from Igbo extraction was barred from contesting in previous presidential elections in the country, adding that candidates from the zone had at one time or the other, vied for the presidential ticket of their parties.

The Minister said, “in politics, no position is ceded as a gift, in 2015, the only ethnic group that did not participate in the presidential primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was the Yoruba.

According to him, “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?

“Remember that before Obasanjo won in 1999, he contested for the ticket against Ekwueme. There was never a time we as Igbo did not contest in the primaries, the only thing was that we were not voted.

“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 primaries is the Yoruba, is it not true? The North West ran, North East ran, North Central vied, South East vied.

“If Owelle Rochas Okorocha had defeated Buhari in the 2015 APC primaries, are we going to be talking about Igbo presidency now? But what is important if the Igbo want to become president, it’s not for you to say it’s your turn.

“Anyday 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. Buhari won the APC primaries with 3,886 votes.

“That’s what we counted, I was a returning officer in that election. Kwakwanso came second, then Atiku, Rochas , then Nda-Isaiah. I can still recall these things.

“So there was never a time it was ceded to Buhari. The people that voted for Buhari outnumbered others in that primary. So when we bring out an acceptable aspirant, he will eventually win. That is what you are supposed to start searching for now.

“Even if the Igbo cry from now till thy kingdom come, if they don’t bring out a person that is acceptable to other Nigerians, nothing happens.” Hon. Nwajiuba stated, even as advised that the South East, knowing every of their sons and daughters should embark on an introspective search for an acceptable aspirant, else it would continue to bemoan its fate in the Nigerian politics.

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