Yoruba socio cultural group, Afenifere, the Middle Belt forum, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and other leaders in the Southern region have pledged their support for an Igbo president ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The groups stressed that an Igbo President is the only key that will drive peace, unity and inclusion as well as national development; adding that 2023 presidency rightfully belongs to the South-East region.
Edwin Clarke, Elder statesman and leader, PANDEF decried the attitude of regions who see themselves as “winners” taking it all, feeling that they own the country, and are born to rule; and that, except they rule, the country will burn.
This, according to him, was unjust and unacceptable.
While stressing that an Igbo president would guarantee the peace and progress of Nigeria, the elder statesman pointed out that the South-East, like any other region, had the men and women, who are competent whom Nigerians would be proud of, to occupy the position.
Clarke said, “The Motto of Nigeria is “Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress”. Where is the Unity I ask, where is the faith in our beloved country; where is the peace; and are we really progressing? Let us not deceive ourselves. I am a strong advocate and believer in the Motor of our dear Country, and that is why my doors are open to all. But are we really working towards the attainment of this Motto? You cannot marginalize and oppress a people, and expect them not to speak out,” he said.
Chief Ayo Adebanjo, leader, Afenifere disclosed that the reason why the South-East region had not ruled was because the Northern people did not want to give up power and had further devised a means to ensure that the Southern region remained divided.
“I asked Tinubu; do you believe they will make you president? They have asked Osinbajo to contest, they wanted to divide the West first, then they went to the south. I am appealing to South-South candidates; Wike and others, they are not helping the issue, they are helping the North; it is a game to divide us, even in the South-East. The North doesn’t want to yield power and they know the way to do it is to divide the country. The problem is ourselves; let us unite” he said.
Dr. Pogu Bitrus, Chairman, Middle belt Forum who delivered the keynote speech, described as illegal the ambition of the South-West to seek the presidency, after Obasanjo ruled as president for eight years and Osinbajo ruled for eight years as vice president.
He stated that by design, the zoning and rotation policy is supposed to make it possible for each of Nigeria’s six geopolitical zone to occupy the seat of president for eight years over a 48-year period.