Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide and other prominent leaders from Southeast have advised Nigerians not to take the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate Abubakar Atiku serious over his comment to cede the presidency to the region in 2027.
Atiku has said in a rally in Enugu that he would support Ndigbo to win the President in return for the region’s votes in 2023.
Reacting, Ohanaeze said no person from Southeast or Igbo would take that advice serious.
Publicity Secretary of the organisation Alex Ogbonnia said: “Comments are free, facts are sacred, Atiku has said what he wanted to say, but he would have realised that nobody would take that advice, no person from Southeast or Igbo would take that advice serious.
“I can assure you no person from Southeast or Igbo land will take that advice that we should wait until 2027 because right from time, everybody knows that it is the turn of the South and by extension Southeast to produce the next President.
So, any patriotic Nigerian will realise that what is best for Nigeria is to allow the Southeast to produce the President. So, any person talking or discussing to the contrary knows in his or her conscience that he is doing the wrong thing or taking to wrong direction.
He emphasised that Ndigbo is not in support of the preposition of the former Vice President.
“We are not in support and any person saying that, it is not acceptable to Southeast and the whole Ndigbo. Anybody knows it is the turn of Southeast to produce the next President in 2023, any person talking to the contrary knows he is making a mistake and that person is not sincere,” he maintained.
Former president of the Apex socio cultural organisation in Imo State, Dr. Ezechi Chukwu cautioned Atiku not to play the god in his promise to Ndigbo.
“I think that promise is anchored illogically on smokescreen because he is not God, and nobody knows tomorrow or sure of tomorrow. And of course even if the power were to be given to him on platter of sentiment or emotions, there is no guarantee that he will cede power to Southeast.
So, I see that as part of the political retorics associated with campaign propaganda. He has no such power to do such a thing. From the point of jurisprudence, he lacks the locu standi to do that, in other words from the legal point of view, he lacks the constitutional right to give power to Southeast. Secondly, from ethical or moral point of view, there is no guarantee that he can do that.”
He asked: “As a matter of fact power having vested in the North for the past eight years, what is wrong in allowing a Southeasterner to have a shot at the Presidency this time around?”
A legal luminary Mike Ahamba (SAN) advised other presidential candidates from Southeast to move to North East to make similar promise to the people there.
“We have an Igbo presidential candidate what stops him from going to Northeast to say if I win, I will make sure somebody from the Northeast wins.
“It is a campaign strategy to win an election, Atiku has made an offer, you either reject it or accept it, we should not quarrel about it. It is not important. For me, I did not see it as an important statement. Nobody has met such a promise in the past.”
Another legal practitioner, Chief Goddy Uwazuruike said it was a clear misconception that a seating president could decide where the next President would come from.
He said: “I know it is not within his powers to even do any such thing. So, it is a clear misconception that a seating President can decide where the next President would come from.
“Secondly, Igbo do not need such assurance from anybody. All we are saying is the Southeast should be allowed to produce the next President of Nigeria. So, nobody should come and patronize us with such empty words we are too intelligent for that. Igbo will support whoever they want to support but no promise wether real or imaginary can swell us, we know where we are, we know what to do.”