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We won't be deceived with 2023 --- Igbo leaders tell Buhari

…APC can’t give us Presidency …
Ndigbo should be careful of APC
The promise of supporting the prospects of a President
of Igbo extraction in 2023 by the All Progressives
Congress, APC, has been widely dismissed as deceptive
by Igbo leaders. President Muhammadu Buhari and
Eboyin State governor during the President’s visit to
Eboyin They particularly described it as a ploy to get the
region to support President Muhamadu Buhari’s perceived
second term ambition, adding that it was not in the
interest of Ndigbo.
Though the calls to support the party, which APC leaders
described as the surest path to Igbo Presidency, sounded
simplistic, Igbo leaders said the interest of the zone was
not guaranteed in the APC. Consequently, they told
Saturday Vanguard, that they would mobilise the Igbo
against what was labelled as the deceptive antics of the
APC. Saturday Vanguard observed that many in the zone
viewed the President’s visit to Ebonyi State last Tuesday
and his speech as the latest in the series of moves aimed
towards attracting Igbo support ahead of the 2019 poll.
The six-month regime of the late Major-General Johnson
Aguiyi-Ironsi was the only time the Southeast governed
the country, as the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe was only a
ceremonial President in the Balewa government. Ndigbo
should be careful of APC—Eya A former Secretary-
General of Ohaneze, Chief Nduka Eya said: “Let them
stop deceiving the Igbo. I want the Igbo to know that the
APC can’t give us 2023 presidency. The Igbo can only get
it with a two-third majority, not through the promises
being made by the APC. The party thinks that Buhari’s
presence in the Southeast will make the Igbo vote for the
APC in 2019.
That is not possible, except they rig the election. The Igbo
are wiser now. Those people talking about supporting the
APC so that we can have Igbo presidency in 2023 should
forget about it. ‘’APC cannot be trusted. We are not even
interested in it now, what the Igbo need is to put their
house in order. We have the Deputy Senate President and
Ohaneze leadership, who are expected to use their
positions to rightly put our house in order. “They should
stop deceiving themselves.
My message for Ndigbo is that they should not take that
bait. When the party was campaigning for election, they
promised to revive the coal corporation in Enugu. But we
have not seen anything except a visit by some officials.
We have terrible roads and they are not interested in any
meaningful project in Igbo land.
They can’t destroy the Igbo. They tried it for three years
and it did not work. The former Eastern region was split
by (Yakubu) Gowon to break the solidarity that existed in
the region but we are still in tandem with the Efik, Ibibio
and other tribes that made up the former Eastern region.
The Igbo should not take that bait from a party that
promised so many things and did nothing. What is the
assurance that they will be committed to the promise
when they are re-elected? That is even the time Buhari
will tell the Igbo to go to hell because he will not be
seeking re-election.
Traditional rulers erred by giving Ochiloha title to Buhari “I
am also critical of the traditional rulers that gave him the
title of Ochilioha of Ndigbo. They cheapened themselves
with that action because the Igbo don’t even have a
common title. For instance, if the Obi of Onitsha decides
to give him a title, such title is for Onitsha and not for the
entire Igbo.
Even though Ebonyi State governor has endorsed him for
a second term, Buhari cannot win in the Southeast.
“When the President visited the Southeast, I made a
statement on Urban Radio where I hailed him for coming.
I told him that we love him but are being careful of the
Greek Gift he brought. APC promised change but they
have spent three years blaming Jonathan and PDP.
Buhari said he belongs to nobody but we have seen
where he belongs to by the virtue of the appointments he
has made. The APC thinks we have forgotten the
promises they made.
They cannot be trusted. They talked about restructuring
in their manifesto but turned around to search for the
meaning of restructuring.” No Igbo person will believe
APC—Ohaneze Youth Council Also speaking, the
Secretary-General of Ohaneze Youth Council, Mazi Okwu
Nnabuike said: “They are deceiving Ndigbo. Anybody, who
believes them, is deceiving himself. Igbo man was online
for SGF but they did not do eventually consider that. We
all saw how Ogbonnaya Onu was schemed out. When the
God of Ndigbo created a vacancy in that position, they
did not appoint an Igbo person. APC cannot be relied on.
We know their ways. And that is why we are resisting their
deceptive moves. APC doesn’t even recognise the quota
system in the Federal Character Principle. How can a
party that did not give us our quota in appointments in
line with the Federal Character Principle assist us in
getting the presidency in 2023? What we need now is to
come together through a proper political realignment.”
APC should not be trusted in any election—Ezeife A
former governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka
Ezeife said: “APC should not be reckoned with in any
presidential election whether it is 2019 or 2023.
Igbo people have made up their minds. When we see
Buhari and the list of candidates running for the
presidency we will know what to do. As it is now, it
doesn’t appear he will be a candidate. Why are they
making noise about it? “The issue is that they have blown
their chances. They have no chance of producing the
President again unless through rigging.’’ Ndigbo are wise,
would be wiser in 2019—Ohaneze Also, National Publicity
Secretary of Ohaneze, Mr. Uche Okpaga said: “The
statement is puerile and pedestrian. There is no
substitution for good governance. Ndigbo will vote
according to their conscience.
We have stated timelessly that Igbo Presidency without
restructuring is not feasible. The performance of the
government will be the yardstick, not political statements
made to hoodwink the people. Ndigbo are wise and
would be wiser in 2019” Buhari not in a position to
handover power in 2023—Chekwas Okorie National
Chairman of United Progressive Party, UPP, Chief
Chekwas Okorie said: “Those making the call and
promises can go and say that to the Marines. President
Buhari ran for the presidency four times consecutively
before he got it without waiting for any party to zone it to
his zone. The Ohanaeze people and Igbo APC leaders
that said that Igbo will get the presidency in 2023 after
supporting Buhari, missed it.
I was very ashamed of that comment from an Ohanaeze
led by an erudite politician like Chief John Nnia Nwodo. “
Whatever President Buhari thinks he can offer, there is no
chance for him to come back in 2019. He is a one-term
President. The Consensus in Nigeria now is the need for
restructuring and true federalism. Since Buhari is not in
support of what most Nigerians want, he is not in a
position to be re-elected in 2019. He is not even in a
position to hand over power to anyone in 2023. “Dr Paul
Unongo at the Zik lecture in Lagos urged Igbo people to
step forward and contest election in 2019 and not wait
for anybody to zone the presidency to them.
That is what the Igbo should do and stop embarrassing
themselves in Nigeria’s political arena with naive
comments.” LET’S WAIT FOR A CONCRETE PROMISE –
UZODIMMA. I know that Igbos are looking forward to
producing the next Nigerian President after the North has
completed its tenure. However, the question whether
Igbos will support President Buhari for Presidency in 2019
if he promises to support the Igbos for the Presidency in
2023 is speculative. To the best of my knowledge,
President Buhari has not made any such promise or
commitment. The much I know of the President is that he
is a man of integrity and he is a very honest man, if he
makes a promise or commitment he is bound to keep it.
But like I said, I am unaware that he has made any
promise in that direction so there is actually nothing to
react to. There is no need to be speculative. I am sure
that when there is a concrete proposal on ground, we can
react to it. For now, there is nothing on ground. So all I
can say is that if we ever get to that bridge, we will know
how to cross it. The shortest distance to Igbo presidency
is APC—Igbokwe The Publicity Secretary of the APC in
Lagos State, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, however, disagreed with
those, who dismissed his party’s promise to Ndigbo,
saying that supporting the APC in 2019 was the only way
to get Igbo presidency. He said: ‘’Supporting APC in 2019
to get Igbo presidency is the way to go. I have been
preaching and talking about it. And this is the time for it.
If our people must stop complaining about
marginalization, this is the time to play politics. For other
people to vote Ndigbo, they must vote for APC. ‘’We need
to build the connection and the time is now. No Igbo man
has ruled this country since Aguiyi Ironsi led regime.
Since that time, no Igbo man has played good politics.
We should not miss this opportunity. ‘’Politics is a serious
game. If the Igbo do not play politics well, they will die.
The shortest distance to Igbo presidency is APC. By 2023,
a northerner, President Buhari would have completed his
eight years and an Igbo man will easily come in. ‘’APC
will zone the presidency to the Southeast. We need to
give the Igbo a sense of belonging. Every group is
important, especially the three ethnic groups. We (Igbo)
marginalized ourselves. When in 2009, Jonathan took
over, we expected him to step down by 2011, but he did
not. Our people went behind and supported him and he
won, which made the North not to complete their tenure.
APC is the epicentre of Igbo politics.’’ Similarly, the
Chairman of Southeast caucus of Inter-party Advisory
Council, IPAC, Chief Emeka Okafor, said: ‘’It is a good
thing to support him if he sacks all those questionable
characters in his cabinet. He needs our support. He has
to do something serious to get the support of Ndigbo. We
are ready to support him but he has to work hard to
convince us. Elder statesman, Chief Ben Ezeibe, said “He
has seen that he cannot move forward without Igbo
people. But our people should be careful not to betray the
trust the President has in them. They should not be after
what they will grab individually in the short run.

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