Notable Igbo sons and daughters have begun moves to elicit the support of other regional blocs for the realization of South east presidency project in 2023. They therefore called on every Nigerian to key into the project, saying time has come for the country to produce its next president from the zone.
The Igbo leaders spoke at the just concluded 6th World Igbo Summit which took place at the Gregory University Uturu, Abia State over the weekend. The meeting which was attended by leaders of Igbo extraction was chaired by former Chief of General Staff/Vice President of Nigeria, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (Rtd).
In attendance both physically and virtual were the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who also declared the Summit open. The meeting also attracted the Federal Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onuh and the former Senate President and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim.
Others who attended included General (Sen) Ike Nwachukwu, Professor Joe Irukwu, Professor George Obiozor, Professor Ihechukwu Madubuike, Professor Greg Ibe, Iyom Josephine Anenih, Dr Ifedi Okwenna, Professor Godson Uwakwe, Dr Okey Ikechukwu, and many other Igbo intellectuals, professionals, businessmen, Civil society activists, gender advocates and experts of Igbo extraction residing in different parts of the world. A communique drawn at the end of the conference, jointly signed by Gen. Nwachukwu; Prof. Obiozor, Prof. Ibe, Iyom Josephine Anenih and Dr. Okwenna and made available to Vanguard in Abuja on Sunday also enjoined all Igbo politicians to prevail on their different political parties to ensure the inclusion of rotational presidency clause in their respective constitutions.
The Igbo group also insisted on restructuring of the country to achieve rapid economic growth and development. The communique read thus: “After a two-day deliberation, the Summit resolved as follows: “As Ndigbo, we shall continuously seek for a system or polity that guarantees and secures our social, political and economic interest in Nigeria, based on equality of citizenship, equity and justice.
“That we shall diligently and boldly work hard to convince other Nigerians to support Igbo’s quest to become the President of Nigeria as 2023 is the right time for Ndigbo to occupy the seat of the Presidency of Nigeria. “To this end, the summit therefore urges Igbo politicians to ensure that their respective political parties produce candidates of Igbo extraction as presidential candidate of their respective political parties
“We call Igbo legislators in the National Assembly to seek collaboration with members from other zones to amend the Electoral Act to accommodate a provision that compels INEC to ensure rotation clause in parties constitution, as a requirement for registration, while all our sons and daughters in any political party strive to ensure ‘rotation of presidency’ lause in their party constitution. “The summit urge Ndigbo to remain politically active and conscious to ensure that the about 26 million registered voting strength of Ndigbo all over Nigeria are effectively mobilized, through regular voter education to strengthen the capacity of the zone to negotiate and ultimately win the Presidency.
“That Ndigbo know that they can only realize their aspiration through persuasion of other Nigerians and are therefore ready and are engaging other Nigerians and people, and are not antagonistic and abusive as some people are wrongly asserting.” “The summit reaffirmed the urgent need for restructuring of Nigeria to allow for growth and development in line with resolutions of the 2014 National Conference and The Awka declaration of Ndigbo on restructuring of Nigeria.
“The Summit acknowledged the fact that Ndigbo have substantial investments and is doing business in various parts of the country, we call on the Federal Government to ensure the security of lives and property of all Nigeria, particularly Ndigbo, as they are usually the main target of hoodlums in times of crisis.
“The Summit expresses their appreciation to the Chancellor and Management of Gregory University for being a wonderful host and for their commitment to the re-engineering of Igbo growth and development through her Igbo Renaissance Center. “The Summit was organized to bring together Igbo elders, leaders and great minds to x-ray the historic and contemporary realities in Nigeria today, the impact of Covid-19 Pandemic, the EndSARS phenomenon and its resetting agenda on the socioeconomic and political landscape of Nigeria, and proffer options to achieving the set targets for Ndigbo going forward.”