By Stanley Nwanosike
The return of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 would pave the way to make Igbo presidency a reality in 2023, Chief Osita Okechukwu, Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), has assured Ohaneze Ndigbo.
“Ohaneze Ndigbo should work towards plucking the low hanging fruit; which is President of Nigeria of Igbo extraction in 2023, than chase elusive theorems,’’ Okechukwu said on Tuesday in Enugu.
The president of Nigeria of Igbo extraction in 2023 will assuage the lamentation of marginalisation and return Ndigbo into the mainstream.
“The low hanging fruit is that equity and natural justice favours the South East more than any other geopolitical zone in the south to produce President of Nigeria in 2023.
“This is based on the fact that since our return to the 4th Republic in 1999 when the zoning convention commenced, the South West had eight years (1999-2007) and South-South five years plus (2010-2015). It’s our turn if we work hard and support President Buhari,’’ he said.
He issued a statement in a reaction to the communiqué of the Ohaneze Restructuring Summit held in Awka on Monday.
Okechukwu, while commending the organizers of the summit, called for pragmatism, `if truly they are working for the collective interest of Ndigbo’’.
He observed that the summit neither addressed the issue of Igbo presidency in 2023 nor commended Buhari for his efforts at revamping dilapidated infrastructure in the South-East.
He appealed to Ohaneze to stop squandering the golden opportunity of the South-East to harvest the zoning convention between the North and South, by pontificating and platitudes.
Dismissing the less democratic six year tenure Ohaneze recommended; he said: “One, the truism is that four years tenure renewable by peoples vote blends squarely into the tenets of democracy, which allows a referendum on the incumbent.’’
“In other words, the four years incumbent is aware that he can be voted out and works hard to please the electorate; unlike the single six years tenure which entrenches corruption and do or die apocalypse.’’
On the fine line in the Communiqué read by Prof. Charles Soludo, which states that, `Ndigbo want a Nigeria that works’; Okechukwu said that he was sincerely on the same page with Ohaneze because “we are all praying for Nigeria that works’’.
“`it is the quest for Nigeria that works which made President Muhammadu Buhari to embark on the massive critical infrastructural development – roads, rails, Agriculture and Power (RRAP) Projects as well as construction of 5,000 kilometres of Federal roads and 5,000 kilometres of standard gauge rail lines.
“An additional 5,000 megawatts of electricity and self-sufficiency in food production,’’ he said.
He however regretted that there was no one sentence in the communiqué, commending Mr President for the construction 2nd Niger Bridge; other dilapidated Federal roads in the region; gas pipeline; Enugu coal and agriculture farms.
Okechukwu said that propaganda apart, Ndigbo would be one of the greatest beneficiaries of Buhari’s RRAP Projects and it would be the onerous duty of our son or daughter president in 2023 to consolidate Buhari’s RRAP Projects.
On the issue of regions, he said it was on record that “we all support additional state in the South East’’.