President Muhammadu Buhari, has insisted that based on the power rotation formula in the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, it would be the turn of the South-East to take a shot on the Presidency, come 2023.
Buhari, who spoke in an exclusive interview on Tuesday evening, with News Telegraph, through the Director-General of Voice Of Nigeria, VON, and a chieftain of the APC, Osita Okechukwu, insisted the the Igbos have benefited more under the Buhari administration, than they did during the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governments, hence they should vote for Buhari in 2019.
His Words: “And I keep telling our people that there is a power rotational convention which we can harvest from, rather than this agitation for secession. If we did not vote for President Buhari in 2015, all we need to do now is to vote for him en mass in 2019, instead of the six percent he had in the whole of the former Eastern region. If we do so and God keeping us alive, the Nigerian people will back an Igbo man to become President in 2023.”
He added: “Some people in their beer parlour arguments will tell you that President Buhari didn’t appoint an Igbo man as Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), but I do tell them that there was a time when he had this position, as well as Minister of Finance, Senate Deputy President, and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, but the question is: How did we fare as a people then? I saw some of our brothers the other day insisting that Nnamdi Kanu (Leader of Indigenous People of Biafra – IPOB) must be released.
“I will be happy if he is released, but there is no State that will joke with someone who went on radio to cause disaffection, to call Nigeria a zoo, and that he wants to evacuate some people out of the zoo. This is a boy who is living in the United Kingdom, and has little or nothing do to with us here.
“If he is being tried, has the Supreme Court said he should be released? To me, the Igbos are highly accepted in this country. Forget about the civil war, because most countries also passed through the same road, even the United States. So, we must forget about the past and move ahead. If you look at it democratically, the Igbos have never at a time said they want to leave Nigeria. Between 1995 and 1996, the Igbos set up a Secretariat for the Constitutional Conference, organized by the General Sani Abacha regime.’’
“Our elder statesman and former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, coordinated that Secretariat and we came up with the idea of six regions, but at the conference proper, some Igbos voted against it. States in the South-South, Lagos, and Ogun States, as well as majority of Northern States also voted against it. If someone did not vote for regionalism, are you saying that the same person will vote for secession?
“The same thing happened in the 2005 Political Reform Conference, orgainsed by then President Obasanjo. Along the line, they voted against regionalism. In the 2014 National Conference convoked by Jonathan, which those of us in the opposition at the time shunned, because it was ill timed and not properly composed, those who are supporting IPOB today, went there and voted against regionalism. They said what they wanted was an additional State to bring the South-East at par with other geo-political zones of the country. This means that those who are saying that they want to go, are in the minority.”
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