The Director General of the Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu, has asked the people of the South East geo-political zone, to work towards producing President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor in 2023.
He stated this on Monday at a ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of the coronation of the traditional ruler of Olo in Enugu State, L.O.C. Agubuzu.
Mr. Okechukwu, who was the guest of honour at the event, called on the zone to support Mr. Buhari’s second term in office so that it would have the opportunity to produce the president of the country in 2023.
The zone comprises Enugu, Imo, Abia, Ebonyi and Anambra States. The people are generally known as Ndigbo.
In a speech he delivered which he sent to PREMIUM TIMES, the VON DG said since the Fourth Republic took off in 1999, the presidency had rotated between the north and the south with Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Yar’Adua, Goodluck Jonathan and Mr. Buhari occupying the nation’s topmost political office.
He said nobody from the south east zone had been elected into the position, warning that should another northerner succeed Mr. Buhari, it would take the zone another eight years to wait before producing the president.
Mr. Okechukwu said Nigerians were now ready for Ndigbo because they admire their hard work and enterprise and were ready to vote for one of them as president.
“This is our golden opportunity to actualise our dream for president in 2023. This roadmap is the best option, which our support for President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, definitely will enhance. For after his eight years the president will go to south,” he said.
“If we embrace this government we stand to appeal for our South West and South-South brothers to give us the chance, based on equity and justice, especially when both had served their turn since our entry in 1999 into the 4th Republic.
“Methinks that planning to harvest presidency in 2023 is a better option and it can be faster and better achieved by supporting Buhari, for if any other Northerner becomes president in 2019, the person will naturally seek another 8 years,” he said.
Mr. Okechukwu asked the people of the zone to remember how Mr. Buhari extolled their virtues during a visit to the Presidential Villa and how he (president) recalled how he mobilized contractors for federal roads in the zone, which previous regimes deliberately abandoned.
He said despite supporting and voting overwhelmingly for the Proples Democratic Party in previous elections, the zone did not benefit from its three administrations.
He said, “Let’s not forget that our roads were abandoned, in spite of our overwhelmingly and consistent vote for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), where our brothers and sisters got plumb jobs – SGF, finance minister, deputy senate president, chairman of works in the senate and house etc.
“Enugu Coal which Buhari has concluded plan to revamp and utilise to generate electricity, suffered the same fate with our roads in the hands of regimes which we so loved and which so loved Ndigbo, where at a stretch of five years two of our illustrious sons, professors for that matter were ministers of power, yet Enugu Coal remains idle.
Mr. Okechukwu condemned the renewed agitation for Biafra and asked those insisting that it should be attained by all means to respect the views of those who believed the Igbo should follow the route chartered by former Nigeria’s president, Nnamdi Azikiwe.
He said majority of Igbo want to remain in Nigeria and that he had personally discussed with members of MASSOB, IPOB and other agitators for Biafra and that going by his understanding they preferred democratic means to force.
“Let’s not forget before we insist on Biafra that we are not even united in our villages and towns. In my home town Eke for example, we are not united, a worrisome phenomenon show cased at the 1996 Abacha and 2014 Jonathan Constitutional Conferences, where Ebonyi and Enugu States voted against region. Voting against region is a signpost of division in house,” he said.
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