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Ohanaeze, others plan dialogue on 2023 Igbo presidency

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An apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has planned to lead politicians, religious and traditional rulers and over 80 several other organisations in Igboland and Diaspora to a national dialogue in Enugu next month on the quest for a Nigerian president of South-East extraction in 2023.

The Guardian learnt that the event, being put together by a socio-political advocacy group, South-East for President 2023 Movement (SEFORP 2023), is expected to make strong statement on why the Igbo should be allowed to produce President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor in line with existing principle of rotation of political offices.

Sources stated that the move to hold the conference with the theme: “The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from the South-East zone come 2023: An ingredient of true unity in diversity”, was part of the strategy to drum support of other zones to the project.

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“We felt that we need all our people to work together if we must realise this project and the only way to ensure this is by bringing them together to chart a direction,” the sources stated.

Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, however, former National Chairman of the defunct Alliance for Democracy (AD) and National Co-ordinator of SEFORP 2023 Movement, Rev Okechukwu Obioha, said that the mission of the group was to ensure that every political party, especially the two major leading ones and any emergent third force, would cede their presidential candidates to the South-East zone.

“To achieve this, we need to ensure that the southeasterners work in concert or harmony. We need to make it bold that we are ready and have what it takes to lead the country and since Igbo votes alone cannot give us presidency, we also need to strategise on how to reach other zones for their support in the project.

“Our conviction is based on the axiom that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander. Although zoning of the presidency between the South and North is not an article of faith, as there is no trace of it in our constitution.

“Now, when you come to the South, since the South-West and South-South have had their turn, the only segment left is the South-East. So, it will be equitable, justified and fair enough for the South-East to be supported by all and sundry to assume that position in 2023,” he stated.

However, Ohanaeze President-General, Chief Nnia Nwodo; former Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo; among others, are expected to speak at the conference.

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