The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has brazen up for power shift to the Southeastern region of the country ahead of 2023 elections.
This is as the group has set out five major criteria anyone seeking the position of the president from the South-East zone must possess, Naija News reports.
The Igbo group, however, made it clear that there will not be a special screening for the aspirants as their backgrounds are already known to them.
The National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Alex Ogbonnia stated these in an exclusive interview with Saturday PUNCH.
Speaking about Ohanaeze’s preferred candidate for the 2023 presidential race, Ogbonnia said the group although has no favourite candidate among the presidential aspirants that had already declared interest, anyone who, however, is interested in leading the nation must be a person with high intellect, courage and audacity.
According to Ogbonnia, such qualities were necessary for anybody thinking about becoming the president of Nigeria.
“Such a person must also have political sagacity and national appeal. He must be patriotic and above all, must have a track record of accomplishment,” Ogbonnia added.
On whether the group would invite aspirants from the South-East for a meeting on the need for them to step down for more favourable aspirants to avoid jeopardising the chances of the zone during the primaries, he said it would be done when all interest must have been expressed, Naija News reports.
Ogbonnia statement reads further: “We want more aspirants to come out first. Assuming we had called for a meeting about four days ago (Sunday), we wouldn’t have seen the likes of Chief David Umahi; we wouldn’t have seen the likes of the Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.
“So, let them begin to come out; it will come to a point where we can now decide whom Ndigbo will support,” Ogbonnia said.
He stressed that Ohanaeze would not screen any of the aspirants as it already knew the credentials of every Igbo man of note.
“We already know their credentials. There’s no person in Igboland of note we don’t know of his background. So, they don’t require any screening,” he added.
On whether Ohanaeze would meet with the two major political parties to discuss the need for them to field their candidates from the South-East, Ogbonnia said, “Yes, we have already done that in several fora and we’ll continue on that.”
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