The quest to realise the president of Igbo extraction for the country in 2023 may have started in earnest as sons and daughters of the ethnic group gather today in Enugu to inaugurate a pressure group, “Southeast for President 2023 Movement.”
The Guardian gathered that the inauguration of the group, made up of Igbo intelligentsia, religious, business and political leaders, was to ensure that the zone does not work at cross-purposes.
The movement, it was further gathered, would ensure that “every political party, especially the two major political parties, and or any third force will cede their presidential candidates to the southeast zone.
“The movement will bring every Igbo person at home and in the Diaspora together to understand that the mission of the zone going forward is the presidency in 2023 and that speaking with one voice, we can reach other ethnic nationalities because no one zone can produce the president of Nigeria”.
The event is to be chaired by former Nigerian Ambassador to Japan, Dr. Grant Ehiobuche, with various Igbo groups and organisations expected.
Giving reasons for the early inauguration of the body even when President Muhammadu Buhari’s second tenure was yet to commence, its National Coordinator, Rev. Okechukwu Obioha, stated: “2019 elections are over and the jostling for 2023 should begin.”
He added: “We felt that it is important that we start now before Buhari’s inauguration for a second term so that everybody will hear us and know it is justifiable and in fairness come 2023, southeast should be allowed to produce the president of the country.”
“We are inaugurating now because during the campaign for the 2019 general elections, the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Raji Fashola, wooed South West indigenes to vote Buhari/Osinbajo so that in 2023, the presidency will come to the zone.
“Again, in the north, people like Junaid Muhammed have said that the presidency will not come to the southeast in 2023, as it was not ready to cede power.
“So, it became a concern to us that a major tripod in the Nigerian project, which is the southeast, and which has not tasted the presidency since the commencement of this democratic experiment in 1999, is being left behind.”