- Igbo leaders are singing a new song as they push for the 2023 presidency
- Leaders from the region are said to have united for the project and are already closing ranks
- Leaders of thought, prominent politicians, traditional rulers, businessmen, and industrialists from the region are all involved
As the conversations around the 2023 presidency continue, Igbo leaders are said to be strengthening the unity among them to ensure the region clinches the coveted seat.
A report by New Telegraph indicates that prominent Igbo leaders are closing ranks and have been having a series of meetings in order to intensify their efforts to achieve the aim.
The meetings are said to have been attended by leaders of thought, prominent politicians, traditional rulers, businessmen, and industrialists, among others.
According to the report, the meetings had been taking place at the home of a former governor in the southeast, whom sources quoted in the report say is the coordinator of the project.
The report also indicated that many of the Igbo leaders have buried their political differences in order to accomplish the uphill task.
While some of the Igbo leaders are insisting on fielding a common candidate for the top job, others are of the opinion that the race should adopt the 1999 Yoruba model, in which the major political parties: the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Alliance for Democracy (AD) fielded Yoruba men.
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo who went on to win the election was the candidate of the PDP, while a former secretary to the government of the federation, Chief Olu Falae was the candidate of the AD.
“We are very serious about this project. For once we are putting our differences aside to see this thing through. We are insisting that they should give us the two candidates for the APC and the PDP, so that it would be like what happened to the Yoruba race in 1999,” said one of the sources.
It was also gathered that a prominent Igbo businessman has offered to bankroll the project and to be assisted by other business tycoons from the region.
“For now, we just want everybody that matters to key into the project, and that is what we are gradually achieving. Once that is fully settled, the next stage would be to determine those that can accommodate our interests when they get to office,” another source said.
A member of the House of Representatives, Hon Benjamin Kalu, while speaking on the 2023 Igbo project, said the clamour for the southeast to clinch the presidency is a real and genuine aspiration.
According to him, national peace and unity found in cohesion is enhanced when every tribe and tongue is given the sense of belonging they desire and deserve.
Kalu, however, admonished the Igbos to be more firm and united, so as to clinch the number job in the country.
“We are stronger when we partner to build bonds and confidence than when we show the strength of individuality,” he added.
A source who is conversant with the political trends in the region, however, said the bulk of the political heavyweights in the region were lukewarm about it because they were not convinced about its feasibility.
According to him, the average political leader in the southeast believes more in the restructuring of Nigeria than getting the presidency under the current political structure.
“This is because they are being realistic that even if they get the presidency today, there is nothing much they can achieve with it under the current political structure,” he said.
Meanwhile, a northern elder, Dasuki Nakande, has advised the southeast people of Nigeria to warm their way into the hearts of the other regions of the country in order to stand a chance to produce the next Nigerian president in 2023.
Nakande, a chieftain of the APC and former minister, said talks about the Igbos being alienated in the scheme of things in the present administration are unfair.
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