The President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, described Igbos as strong partners in Nigeria’s development during his first trip to Imo State after election.
He noted that where a thousand Nigerians gather, they must be Igbos in their midst and commended the mercantile spirit of the people.
“Igbos are all over the country and there is no part of the country where 1000 people gather without finding Igbos,” the president-elect said.
Mr. Buhari, who was received by the party’s supporters at the Imo International Conference Centre, Owerri, also appealed to the people to support the All Progressives Congress during the April 11 polls.
“I am here to thank you very much for at very difficult circumstances, you stood by the APC and you stood by me,” Mr. Buhari said.
“Imo is very strategic and this is the sixth time I will be coming to Imo. I am overwhelmed by your governor, Rochas Okorocha, for his tenacity of purpose.
“I have watched him fight tooth and nail to see that Imo people have a level playing field to vote for the party of their choice.”
The president-elect also commended the governors of Rivers and Edo states, Rotimi Amaechi and Adams Oshiomhole, respectively for fighting hard to ensure that their people have level playing fields to vote.
He said the time has now come for Nigerians to vote for people and also remove them when they fail to perform.
“I came here to ask for your votes and I promised to change the vicious cycle of insurgency, corruption and failed economy,” he said.
“I want you to go back and work hard to ensure that Governor Rochas Okorocha wins the coming election.”
He also called for the people to vote for candidates of the party vying for seats at the state assembly to enable the governor work smoothly when re-elected for the second term.
Speaking earlier, the APC National Chairman, Johan Oyegun described Mr. Buhari as a man who was declared president even before INEC officially declared him winner of the March 28 poll.
Mr. Oyegun said the Igbos are the most hardworking and more adventurous people in the country and urged them to re-elect the state governor for a second term.
Also speaking, Mr. Okorocha described Mr. Buhari as not only the President-elect, but also the Commander in-Chief of the Changed Armed Forces of Nigeria.
Going religious, Mr. Okorocha said a voice spoke from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved President, with who I am well pleased.”
He said Mr. Buhari is a stabilizer, saying soon as he named president-elect, the stocks went up and the dollar went down.
He, however, commended President Goodluck Jonathan for conceding defeat even before the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, announced the result of the election.
“Let me put my hand on my forehead to salute President Jonathan for his show of maturity,” he said saluting the president on camera.
Addressing Mr. Buhari directly, he said, “Let me remind you that you are now the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and not the President of the APC.
“Today, we shall have a new Nigeria and President Okechukwu Buhari is the president of that new Nigeria. I know that when you take over power, corruption will be a thing of the past. I know that when you take over power, insurgency will be a thing of the past.”
He prayed for Mr. Buhari to be successful in his new office and advised that the issue of Igbo marginalization and trauma be addressed.