Elders and top political actors of the South-East elders have begun steps towards the actualisation of an Igbo president in Aso Rock ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
This was confirmed by the Secretary General of Igbo Elders Consultative Forum, Prof. Charles Nwekeaku, in an interview with The PUNCH.
The South-East leaders met with prominent religious and traditional rulers tin the northern part of the country including the Sultan of Sokoto and the President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar.
According to him, having been betrayed by the Peoples Democratic Party, Igbo have seen another route to the 2023 presidency through the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi, who he said, had received the backing of northerners.
He said, “You must have read where (Ango) Abdullahi, Chairman of the Northern Elders Forum, said that they were not accepting the All Progressives Party and the PDP. You must have read that.
“We’ve reached out to them; we’re still talking with them. We’ve visited Sultan of Sokoto. I was even a member of the delegation that met him. So, I’m talking authoritatively.
“Every person goes to market, and the market is not favourable to an average Nigerian today, every person is suffering.
“Every Nigerian, an average progressive-minded Nigerian today, wants a change. That change is in favour of Peter Obi of the Labour Party. So Igbo Elders Consultative Forum is working hard, in reaching out, not because Obi is an Igbo.
“We’ve examined them, and he’s ahead of others, in terms of a change, a change of the narrative. All other people, mention any of them, they have been in government; what did they do? They are part of the problem we have today.”
He also said that the security challenges in the South-East allegedly perpetrated by the Indigenous People of Biafra were not peculiar to Igbo states.
Nwekeaku said, “Insecurity is not peculiar to the South-East. You can imagine that presidential convoy was attacked by bandits, and no person has been able to apprehend those bandits till today.
“You can see that in some parts of Niger State, the terrorists have hoisted their flags there, and no person has been able to arrest and detain them, or suppress or neutralise them.
“Go to Katsina State, many parts of Katsina are being taken over by the bandits. So, the South-East is not an exception. But we are also making sure that peace returns. You remember at the eve of Anambra State election, it was rumoured that there will be no election, that the IPOB and other youth organisations have threatened.
“But eventually, by the time we engaged them, there was election. So, in the South-East, there will be election by the special grace of God.”