…to set up lobby group as northern group adopts El-Rufai, Onu
Igbo leaders rose from a crucial meeting, weekend, with a resolve to pursue both restructuring and emergence of Nigerian president of Igbo extraction.
They also asked other ethnic nationalities and zones, to as a matter of justice, equity and fairness, support the emergence of a president of Igbo extraction in 2023.
These were highlights of a nine-point communiqué at the 5th World Igbo Summit (WIS) held at the Gregory University, Uturu, Abia State, from January 2 – 4.
They noted that there were three options left for Nigeria’s survival namely: to retain the dysfunctional status quo, to balkanise the country through a rash of successions and to reset or restructure the country to its federal origin.
They stated that the Igbo had cause to lead the campaign for a restructured Nigeria and stressed that the process should start with the restructuring of the social, cultural, political and economic systems of Ala-Igbo.
The Igbo leaders noted that the Igbo, as one of the tripods of the country, had not produced a president, hence the urgent need to reach out to other ethnic nationalities and zones to achieve support for president of Igbo extraction and restructuring.
They therefore mandated the leadership of Ohanaeze to constitute a high-powered lobby group for the project.
Part of the communiqué signed by Prof. George Obiozor, National Coordinator, and Dr. Ifedi Okwenna, Director General, of the summit group, read: “The leadership of all political parties should as a matter of justice, equity and fairness, cede the nomination of their presidential candidates to the South East.
“That the President-General should in consultation with Ime-obi constitute a Pan-Igbo organizing Committee to develop and pursue a sustainable strategic plan of action for the “handshake outreach” across Nigeria.
“The handshake programme should cumulate in a grand finale during which the harmonized positions of the alliance-zones would be adopted and publicized as a basis of a joint bill of the people to the National Assembly; to pass into law and use as a document for convoking a national conference for restructuring.
“The alliance-zones would use the harmonised positions to commence the arduous task of lobbying and working with politicians, political parties, interest groups and other stakeholders to come on board the movement for restructured Nigeria.
“On its part, Ohanaeze Ndigbo will sustain a vigorous publicity, press campaigns, sustained education and mobilisation of the electorates and encourage peaceful mass rallies in support of the restructuring project.
“In pursuit of these demands and rights, all these resolutions will be done in accordance with the principles of municipal and international laws and best practices.”
However, a northern socio-political group, Rundunar Mai Gaskiya, has endorsed Kaduna Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai as its preferred presidential candidate and deputy respectively.
In a statement by its president, Aminu Ahmad Brano and vice president, Abubakar Isyaku, the group said after wider consultations across board, particularly in the northern states, it adopted El-Rufai for his leadership qualities, trust creation and confidence building between him and the Nigerian people, mostly the northerners.
The group also adopted Minister for Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, as it preferred candidate for the office of the vice president.
According to the group, the minister is a man of strong integrity, detribalised, well educated, loyal to a fault, patient, genuine and believes that God’s time is the best.
Pairing Onu with El-Rufai will bring peace and more progress to the country, the group said.
“Onu has been aligning himself politically with the North at all times. He is supportive of the northern agenda and mostly, his contributions and support of the northern interest in 2015.”
The group insisted that the north should reciprocate Onu’s numerous gestures. They also added that Onu was the majority choice of the South East for the office from their consultations. The group further pleaded with the southern people of the country to allow the north another single term stating that death could not allow the late Musa Yar’Adua serve out his tenure.