All Progressives Congress chieftain, Joe Igbokwe, says an Igbo candidate cannot be trusted in the 2023 presidential election.
According to him, nobody is going to vote for people who would use the same position to divide Nigeria.
Igbokwe, who is an aide to Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, stated this in a PUNCH Live interview on Thursday.
He said the South-East geopolitical zone has indeed suffered “injustices”, adding that in “everything we share in this country, we get the least.”
He, therefore, urged the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) to facilitate the creation of one more state to make states in the South-East six like other geopolitical zones in Nigeria.
States currently in the zone are Anambra, Imo, Enugu, Abia and Ebonyi.
Speaking on the PUNCH Live programme, the politician, however, noted that despite the “injustices”, violent agitations and killings were not the way to press for justice, equity and fairness.
‘IPOB supports PDP, started agitation after 2015 elections’
Igbokwe lambasted members of proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra and other secessionists in the South-East geopolitical zone, saying they are going about their agitation in a wrong manner.
He alleged that IPOB members are supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party, adding that the secessionists began agitations to leave the Nigerian entity after the PDP lost the 2015 presidential election.
The party stalwart said that only the PDP is currently campaigning in Anambra ahead of the November 6 governorship poll while other parties are allegedly being attacked.
He knocked Igbo leaders who are thirsty for the zone to produce a President in 2023, saying they should wake up and do the politicking and make friends in the other five geopolitical zones to achieve their goal.
As the 2023 general elections draw nearer, there have been intense political posturing, permutations and fireworks, especially as the eight-year regime of Buhari, who is from Katsina State, winds down.
The clamour for an Igbo President has since resonated with some 18 months to the general elections. Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, has been consistent in its demand for an Igbo President in 2023.
The 17 Southern Governors had also met twice in the year and demanded power shift to their region while the 19 Northern Governors also met last week, opposing such move and noting that the candidate with the highest votes will emerge as President in the next general elections.
‘Igbo people must drop secession agitation to be considered for serious national posts’
Asked whether the agitation by IPOB and the other secessionists in the South-East would be laid to rest should the zone produce a President in 2023, Igbokew said it is not by force that the next Nigerian leader emerges from the zone.
He said Igbo politicians should do the work if they so desperately want the next Presidency, adding that Igbo people must drop Biafra agitation to be considered for serious national offices.
The 65-year-old Anambra indigene said, “If you want other Nigerians to vote for you, then you have to count how many bridges that you have built; bridges of understanding, bridges of communication, bridges of friendship.
“I want to see your bridges and you want them to vote for you? Nobody is going to vote for somebody who will use that position to divide Nigeria.
“You cannot be talking about secession and talking about producing the President of Nigeria. We need to settle the issue first; we need to say, ‘Look, we have given up this demand for Biafra, grant us justice’.
“Today, Asiwaju (Bola Tinubu) is in the saddle. How did Buhari become the President of Nigeria? It was Asiwaju that wooed him in 2013 with Tony Momoh, with Baba Akande and they went to Daura to meet Buhari.
“They said, ‘Look, you scored 11 million votes in 2003, 11 million votes in 2007, 12 million votes in 2011. If I pull South-West, you will get 17 million votes and you will become President.