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Igbo presidency will end agitations, ensure peace, say Ohanaeze, Nwobodo

By Lawrence Njoku (Enugu), Uzoma Nzeagwu (Awka), Nnamdi Akpa (Abakaliki) and Ernest Nzor (Abuja)
02 February 2022   |   4:12 am
Anambra State President of the Ohaneze Ndigbo, Prince Emeka Udodeme, has declared that the emergence of Igbo president will help to curb agitations and secessionist movements in the South East and restore peace in the country.

• EFCC working against Igbo interests, OYC, HURIWA allege
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Anambra State President of the Ohaneze Ndigbo, Prince Emeka Udodeme, has declared that the emergence of Igbo president will help to curb agitations and secessionist movements in the South East and restore peace in the country.

Udodeme, who maintained that a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction was not negotiable in 2023, urged all political parties to cede their presidential slots to the South East zone.

He made the assertion, yesterday, in Awka, noting that equity and fairness demand that an Igbo person should be supported to emerge as the next president of Nigeria, despite moves by some ethnic nationalities scheming to present candidates.

He pointed out that the South-South, South West and the North have produced presidents of the country and it is the turn of the South East, adding that Ohaneze Ndigbo had met with Afenifere, the Arewa Consultative Forum ACF) and other interest groups to seek their support for an Igbo president in 2023.

“A president of Igbo extraction would stabilise the country, because he will work for the socio-economic and political advancement, as well as move Nigeria forward,” he said.

The group also berated the Federal Government for the poor representation of the South East in resent police recruitment exercise saying the inability to address insecurity in the country, especially in the North was the reason behind the underrepresentation.

In a statement issued in Abakaliki, Secretary General of Ohanaeze, Mazi Okechukwu, lamented that only 2,932 Igbo youths applied for police recruitment exercise with least from Anambra State with only 312 youths, saying it was worried about the development.

BESIDES, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council (OYC) has alleged that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was being used to harass South East presidential aspirants with a view to frustrating them out of the 2023 race.

President of OYC, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, who stated this, yesterday, however, commended former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, for joining the presidential race.

He said it had become the norm for the EFCC to go after South Eastern people, as soon as they indicate interest in the presidential contest.

The anti-graft agency had on Monday filed a 17-count charge against Okorocha over alleged looting of about N2.9 billion during his time as governor.

The group cautioned the EFCC against returning the country to the days of former President Olusegun Obasanjo during which the agency was used to intimidate all opposition politicians.

ALSO, former governor of the old Anambra State, Jim Nwobodo said peace would continue to elude the country unless an Igbo indigene was allowed to occupy the presidency.

Nwobodo said no nation thrives in the absence of justice, equity and fairness, stressing that Nigeria’s case was not different, as the country had continued to look down on the South East region that had kept it together.

“Everybody must be given a sense of belonging and fairness in the distribution of resources. Until Nigeria recognises that the Igboman is an integral part of the country and allows one of its own to occupy the presidency, there won’t be peace in the country,” he said.

On its part, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has alleged that the EFCC) is working against the interest of the Igbo and the South East in the political permutations for 2023.

In a statement issued in Abuja by its National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, it said the EFCC has started acting a script by targeting persons, who have indicated interest to run for the presidency, especially from the South East.

MEANWHILE, Okorocha has accused Governor Hope Uzodimma of being responsible for his ordeal with the EFCC over alleged misappropriation of about N2.9 billion.

In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media, Sam Onwemeodo, the representative of Imo West Senatorial District, cited instances of Uzodimma’s social media team celebrating the charges against him, as soon as they were made public.

But in a swift response, Uzodimma’s Senior Special Assistant on Print Media, Modestus Nwankpa, accused Okorocha of being quick to accuse the incumbent governor of being behind his ordeal.

Uzodimma, therefore, advised Okorocha to face the court action instituted by the EFCC and stop diverting attention from the issues.