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Consider pragmatic approach, VON DG tells Ohanaeze

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Osita Okechukwu

Against the background of recent restructuring summit convened by the umbrella socio-cultural organization of all Igbo, Ohanaeze Nd’Igbo, the Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Osita Okechukwu, has enjoined the body to focus on producing the nation’s President in 2023.

Okechukwu told The Guardian that the best bet for Ohanaeze Ndigbo at this point in time in the nation’s socio-political progression “is to work towards plucking the low hanging fruit, which is President of Nigeria of Igbo extraction in 2023, than chase elusive theorems.”

He commended Ohanaeze for the communiqué, which marshaled out the Igbo stand on restructuring, stressing however that only the pragmatic approach such as guided the political preferences of the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe could guarantee the collective interest of Nd’Igbo in Nigeria.

While regretting that the summit neither praised President Muhammadu Buhari’s infrastructure uplift of the Southeast nor touched on the issue of 2023 Presidency, the VON DG, pleaded with Ohanaeze Nd’Igbo “to stop squandering the golden opportunity for the Southeast to harvest the zoning convention between the North and South, through mere pontifications and platitudes.”

On the suggestion for six-year single tenure recommended by Ohanaeze, Okechukwu said: “Pragmatism should be for Ohanaeze to appeal to our people to work towards the low hanging fruit. One, the truism is that a 4-year tenure renewable by the peoples’ vote blends squarely into the fine tenets of democracy, which allows a referendum on the incumbent.

“In other words the four-year incumbent is aware that he can be voted out and works hard to please the electorate; unlike the six-year single tenure, which entrenches corruption and do or die politics.”

He maintained that a President of Nigeria of Igbo extraction in 2023 will assuage the lamentation of marginalisation and return Ndigbo into the mainstream,” stressing that the fine line in the Ohanaeze communiqué is the declaration that “Ndigbo want a Nigeria that works.”

He recalled that although all Igbo support an additional state in the Southeast, Ebonyi and Enugu treasured their state structure and voted against region in the 1995 Abacha and 2014 Jonathan Constitutional conferences.


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