Despite the support enjoyed by President Goodluck Jonathan in the five states of the South East geo-political zone, some Igbo in the Diaspora under the aegis of World Igbo Congress, WIC, have enjoined their kits and kin back home to shop for a replacement for the president during the 2015 election.
According to a communiqué issued after its convention, the WIC asked each political party in Nigeria to consider nominating an Igbo as its presidential candidate for the election.
The communiqué dated September 9 signed by WIC Chairman, Larry Udorji, and Secretary General, Cyril Nwaorgu, was released to the media on Wednesday.
The convention was held between August 29 and September 1.
The WIC holds conventions annually during which it discusses crucial issues affecting the five Igbo states of Anambra, Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo.
Mr. Jonathan attended 2014 Convention. Other attendees include the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, both Igbo.
In his address to the convention, the president urged Ndigbo (Igbo people) to unite above partisan politics, internal division, external hostility, but “more fundamentally unity in planning and in development as well as in the awakening of the positive Igbo cultural resources.”
He also enumerated the projects and programmes he executed in the five states since he assumed office.
Officials of the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria, TAN, had announced during its South East rally last month that it collected 1.8 million signatures of the people of the zone asking Mr. Jonathan to seek re-election.
But the WIC, in the communiqué, said it would give consideration and support a nominee of Igbo extraction.
“We call on each political party in Nigeria to give serious consideration to nominating an Igbo as its presidential candidate for the 2015 election to address decades of deliberate and systematic punitive exclusion of Ndigbo in presidential politics,” it said.
“We will consider for support and endorsement parties that give serious consideration to and support for an Igbo nominee for President.”
The group said since Mr. Jonathan was yet to declare interest in the presidential election and the Igbo race had several men and women who could be president, there was the need to begin to shop for an Igbo nominee for the position.
It commended the United Progressive Party, UPP, for deciding to zone its presidential ticket to the South East zone.
The WIC however stated that “Consistent with the spirit of the 2010 Mississippi Accord between the World Igbo Congress and the Ijaw National Congress, we call for collective support for a President of our shared heritage.”
The group said the Igbo is the largest ethnic group in Nigeria, numbering over 40 million by conservative estimates and that they are found in virtually every local government area in Nigeria.