Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the premier Igbo socio-cultural group, has formed a committee that would visit various Emirs and Obas around the country to garner support and appeal to their people in political parties to select Igbo candidates for the 2023 presidential election.
Obi Chukwuemeka Udodeme, president of the Anambra State branch of Ohanaeze, who spoke as a presidential aspirant on the platform of All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, Professor Peter Umeadi, who interacted with the leadership of Ohanaeze during which he formally informed them of his aspiration, said the Igbo were leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the next president of Nigeria would be Igbo.
Udodeme expressed worry at the stories making the rounds that the two major political parties were nursing the idea of presenting their candidates from the northern part of the country at a time the general feeling among Nigerians was that the presidency should be zoned to the southern part of the country.
According to him, the Ime Obi Ohanaeze, the highest decision-making body of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, would meet in Enugu on May 5th, 2022 to take far-reaching decisions on the 2023 Igbo presidency.
He commended Umeadi, who is the former chief judge of Anambra State for presenting himself to serve Nigeria at the highest level after his meritorious service in the judiciary.
Addressing the people, Umeadi pledged to administer the country with firmness and fairness and reposition Nigeria to the path of progress, harmony and prosperity.
He said: “Uppermost in my mind is how to reconcile with ourselves across the length and breadth of our dear country, Nigeria. It is not possible for us to achieve economic, educational, scientific, sporting or sufficient breakthroughs when we are hungry, insecure, and unstable.
“Nigerians are traumatized on daily basis from wanton killings, displacements, disorganization of business and social life with attendant difficulty to sustain economic, commercial and domestic life. These are issues on the front burner as we progress to the polls for the office of the President of the Federal Republic 0f Nigeria on 25/2/2023. With all modesty, I have the initiative and capacity to reposition Nigeria in four years if I am elected as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2023.
“My antecedents and mettle guide me to step out with the triple banner of the Rule of law, Separation of Powers and Due Process, which should engender security for life and property, economic revitalization and prosperity, which in itself represents a fulfilled and happy life. These issues should be at the core of our rejuvenation as a nation.
“We know that insecurity amongst other fallout has driven our people away from the farms, creating artificial scarcity of food and earning power. We live with the dilemma of funding and even making long term plans on camps harbouring internally displaced persons (IDP) when the country is neither at war nor struck by a major natural disaster.
“In a place like the southeast, it has become normal not to work on Mondays stemming from circumstances of nationhood and inclusiveness for which other channels of rapprochement are available, but are not utilized. It has long become a risk to travel by road, which now extends to the sea, rail and air! People are kidnapped easily and huge ransoms are demanded and paid through the established communication grid and existing financial system.
“I look forward to a Nigeria where justice would reign for all citizens irrespective of tribe or status. The bulwark of my presidential bid is predicated on popular votes at the polls by a majority of Nigerians. We should respect the ballot. We should canvas and sustain free and fair elections. Let only the valid votes count. I hope Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide and the Anambra State chapter would remember that it has a duty to engage in vigorous voter education to ensure that all eligible voters who are 18 years and above register to vote and obtain their permanent voter’s cards”.