Ndigbo have been advised to field a presidential candidate in the 2019 election to show that the southeast region is serious in addressing the marginalisation of the region and also to prove that Igbo is capable enough to wrestle the Nigeria seat of power from other regions across the country.
Former Assistant National Publicity Secretary of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Mr. Emejulu Okpallaukwu Okpallaezeukwu, who gave the advise while speaking with journalists, said that fielding a presidential candidate would put Ndigbo in stronger position to drag issues with other regions thereby compelling other regions not to take the southeast for granted.
He noted that the consistent failure of Ndigbo to run for presidency during elections in 2007, 2011 and 2015 is bearing negative effect on the southeast as a region.
He echoed that other regions regarded Ndigbo as a more serious political force to reckon with when late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe contested for presidency in 1979 and 1983 under the platform of Nigeria People’s Party (NPP) and subsequent elections when Arthur Nzeribe, Emmanuel Iwuanyawu and late Biafra War Lord, Ikemba Nnewi Dim Chukwuemeka Odumewgu Ojukwu stood for presidential election.
He said that not fielding a presidential candidate boosted the chances of marginalisation of Ndigbo by the present administration of Muhammadu Buhari, adding that Buhari couldn’t have mustered the courage to sideline Ndigbo if an Igbo man gave him a good fight at the polls in 2015.
“Ndigbo have to launch a serious presidential campaign in 2019 and field a candidate for the nation’s top seat in Aso Rock and then make their plans and vision for Nigeria known to the people of the country, because that is the only the way the north and the southwest would see us as a force to recon with, without fielding a presidential candidate, we won’t make any meaningful impact on 2019 polls”
Going further he said “Ndigbo cannot continue to keep off presidential race on the ground that we are minority, we have to pull the trigger, fortunately we have the best brain in this country and by the time we launch a well coordinated presidential campaign, they won’t joke with us”
Asked if he has anybody from the Igbo extraction in mind for the Nigeria top job, he said that every State in the southeast have credible men who are groomed enough with international exposure in politics, business and economy to lead Nigeria adding that if Nigerians really need a leader who will take the country to the promised land they should pick a president from Igbo land.