Raphael Ede, Enugu

Director General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Osita Okechukwu, o Sunday, said that the Igbo are desirous of being the president of Nigeria in 2023.

Reacting to the statement credited to the Igbo Leaders of Thought (ILT), led by Professors Ben Nwabueze, Chinwite Ejike and Elochukwu Amuchiazu, to the effect that Ndigbo was not keen on producing Nigeria president of Igbo extraction in 2023, but on restructuring the country, Okechukwu said that producing the president of the country for the Igbo in 2023 would cushion sulking and wrinkling of hands over marginalisation.

Okechukwu’s words, “I have tremendous respect for Professors Ben Nwabueze, Chinwite Ejike, Elochukwu Amuchiazu and host of other members of Igbo Leaders of Thought; however am in the know that most of Ndigbo are keen on Nigeria president of Igbo extraction come 2023.

“The Igbo president in 2023 will, in no small measure, cushion sulking and wrinkling of hands over marginalisation.

“Let’s be pragmatic, otherwise Professor Nwabueze who is an eminent constitutional lawyer, should sincerely tell us how he intends to navigate the National and State Assemblies to amend the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to his taste?”

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“May I remind the Igbo Leaders of Thought that states like Ebonyi, Enugu, Lagos, Ogun, Plateau, Kaduna and a host of others voted against regions in the Abacha and Jonathan constitutional conferences.

“Restructuring will only succeed when the weaker states and people are assured of basic needs of survival. This is the target of President Buhari’s RRAP projects”

“The Igbo Leaders of Thought should think well, in the collective interest of all by being pragmatic and realistic. We crave to vote for President Buhari in 2019, so as to become president in 2023 and continue the massive critical infrastructural development he embarked upon.

“To be specific the Buhari’s RRAP projects – roads, rails, agriculture and power are targeted at 5,000 kilometers of federal roads, 5,000 kilometers of rail lines, 5,000 additional megawatts and self sufficiency in food production.

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“RRAP is spreading gradually across the country and we want them in the South East.”

Recall that the Igbo Leaders of Thought after a two-day meeting, at Enugu, proclaimed that, “What is the need asking for power in a disintegrated and disunited country being foisted on us by the day with the present system?”

To answer this valid question by Igbo Leaders of Thought, Okechukwu said, “President Buhari is quietly sourcing for solutions to end the killings. We are all worried and pained over the killings. It cannot continue.

“I am pleading with Professor Ben Nwabueze and co to join us in appealing to all geopolitical zones in the country, to support any Igbo man or woman of their choice in 2023.

“For by then, South East will be the only geopolitical zone in the South that had not been president since the zoning convention took off in 1999. This is more pragmatic than utopian.”