From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Ohanaeze Ndigbo on Monday reached out to the north in an apparent move to solicit support for the 2023 presidential race, saying that Igbo believe in dialogue and negotiation to produce the President of south eastern extraction.
This was even as the Ohanaeze disclosed that Igbo in diaspora have set aside N10 billion naira to support any candidate of Igbo extraction that will emerge for the presidential race.
Speaking at a meeting with the national President of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), Yerima Shettima, Secretary General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Worldwide, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro said he was in Kaduna with delegation to beg northerners to support Igbo to get the 2023 presidency.
Mazi Isiguzoro also disclosed that the delegation had met with some religious Clerics in the north over the presidential project.
He said the Igbo delegation for 2023 presidency would continue to lobby all parts of the country for the power shift to the South East region.
He informed that Igbo nation including their kinsmen in Rivers and Delta States have abundant human resources that can produce the best for the Presidency.
The Ohanaeze Scribe pointed at politicians like Rotimi Amaechi, Peter Obi, amongst others as presidential materials.
“We are begging the north to give us the opportunity. You should help us because we know that the north plays the role of kingmaker in politics of this country. We are here to ask you to support an Igbo man for the presidency. There should be no more abusive words between north and south East as we used to read on pages of newspapers.
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“What happened to the cordial relationship between Zik and Tafa Balewa, what happened to the good relationship between North and South East? We must bring back the good memories of old days for the unity and development of Nigeria.
“Igbo have one trillion investment in the north. We are for one Nigeria, we are not for Biafra. We need somebody that is of age that can unite Nigeria. We believe in one Nigeria. We have abundant human resources that can take over from Buhari.
“We have people who are committed to serve Nigeria. We have seven States including Rivers and Delta States where we have Igbo speaking brothers. We have politicians like Rotimi Amaechi, Peter Obi, Rochas Okorocha, among others that can run for the presidency”. Mazi Isiguzoro said.
Responding, Yerima Shettima told the Ohanaeze delegation that it was good to negotiate when seeking for power, adding that nobody achieved good thing through threat.
“I have always believed in Pan Nigeria. I believe in the unity of one Nigeria. I have been part of many struggles. I am not happy that Nigeria is not where it is. People who don’t have an idea of history of Nigeria resorted to abusive words and threat. They resort to champion the cause of Biafra. Gone are those days you use threat to look for power.
“It is a welcome development that you are here to discuss the 2023 general election. Politics is about negotiation. You need to rise above board. Nobody will trust power to you if you resort to threat.
“However, democratically I don’t understand what zoning means. I believe that you should bring out your candidate and we will bring out our own, and by the time we meet at the contest, whoever wins, should carry the day. Nevertheless, we will go back to our elders and report to them about your visit and mission”. Shettima said.