The governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, has said the South East geo-political zone will produce the president of Nigeria after 2019.
The governor stated this Friday while speaking at the All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential campaign rally in Aba, Abia State.
The zone, comprising five states, namely Abia, Enugu, Anambra, Imo and Ebonyi, is yet to produce a democratically-elected leader of the country.
However, an indigene of the zone, the late Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, a major general, was Nigeria’s first military head of state.
He ruled the country between January and July, 1966, before he was overthrown and killed in the July 1966 coup that brought Yakubu Gowon, then a colonel, to power.
The three democratically-elected presidents since the return of democracy in 1999, namely Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan are from the South West, North West and South-South geo-political zones.
Mr. Okorocha, who contested the presidential primaries of the APC last month but lost, demanded that the zone be allowed to produce a successor to Muhammadu Buhari, if he wins the February 14 2011 election, since other zones had produce the nation’s leader.
“It can never go back to the South West,” Mr. Okorocha said. “Northerners, please let me warn you, after 2019 and beyond, let nobody takes it to South West. Amaechi (governor of Rivers States), your brother (Jonathan) has taken your turn, never you, never you talk about South-South.”
Speaking at the rally, Mr Buhari, promised that, if elected, his administration would provide the Igbos with capital and expertise to enhance their entrepreneurial skills.
The entrepreneurship of the Igbo people is not in doubt not only in Nigeria but also outside Nigeria,” he said.
“You are extremely hard-working and whatever the Federal Government will do possible to empower you with capital and expertise the government will do that to improve on your investments.”
The APC flag bearer assured that the party’s administration would not allow youth, notably able-bodied people, to be idle so that they would not become touts but become productive citizens.
Mr. Buhari also assured that, if elected, his government would fulfil all the promises it was making to the people.
“I assure you we will fulfil our promises if you give us the opportunity of being your leaders,” he said.