Igbo leaders have made a demand ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
The leaders said the South-East should be given unfettered opportunity to produce the next President of Nigeria in the upcoming presidential election.
They made the demand in a world press conference under the umbrella of the Ahamefuna socio-cultural organisation hosted by former Governor of Enugu State, Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo in Enugu, on Thursday.
The theme of the press conference was “The need for Nigeria Presidency from South-East Nigeria come 2023,” where Igbo leaders present included: HRH Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, Prof. Anya O. Anya, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyawu, Senator Ben Obi, Prof. ABC Nwosu, Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, Chief Achike Udenwa, Prof Uche Azikwe, Senator Azu Agboti, Chief Onyemuche Nnamani, Mrs Beatrice Ekwueme, HRH Igwe Julius Nnaji, Prof Elochukwu Amucheazi, Dr Joe Nworgu, Chief Dubem Onyia, Rev Fr. Nnamdi Nwankwo, Prof Cyprian Onyenji, Prof Innocent Okwonkwo, among many other Igbo leaders.
Speaking as Chairman of the press Conference, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyawu said that the Igbo was currently facing one of their greatest challenges and traced the history of the amalgamation of Northern and Southern Nigeria, where he noted that the Igbo played a pivotal role in shaping the country.
He said that it was only in Nigeria that Champions and Independence protagonists were not allowed to rule the country, citing the late Dr Nnamadi Azikwe as a typical Igbo and Pan-Nigerian who unfortunately was not allowed to lead the country even after being the vanguard for Nigeria Independence.
“All through history, we have been demanding for what truly belongs to us. What else could be injustice, where then lies equity, justice, fairness when there was agreement that power should rotate between northern and Southern Nigeria?
“Now that it is the turn of the Igbo people have started shifting grounds. We want a field where everybody could play. Nigerians should please be honest for at least once,” Iwuanyawu pleaded.
Delivering the text of the press conference, Senator Ben Obi said that it was only the southeast, in the three zones of Southern Nigeria that have not yet had a chance to produce a Nigerian President.
Obi stated that the Igbo believed that in the spirit of Justice, equity, fairness and inclusiveness, the south-east should be given a chance and supported by all fair-minded and patriotic Nigerians, to produce Nigeria’s president in 2023.
Obi said the Igbo have taken the campaign to major political and cultural leaders of other ethnic nationalities in the country, where many of them spoke out publicly in support of the southeast quest for the presidency in 2023.
“Our response to detractors is clear. In this, we demand to be treated fairly and given a chance to participate as a full member of the Nigerian project,” Obi said.