A group of Igbo youths under the aegis of The Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL), has said Nigeria has one more opportunity in 2023 to save itself from disintegration.
The group stated that the only thing that can save the country is to allow the South-East region to produce the next President to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.
This was contained in a statement made by the group on Wednesday in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
In a statement by its President-General, Goodluck Ibem, the group vowed to resist any attempt by any individual, group or political party to discard the agitation for Igbo presidency in 2023.
The group had earlier condemned the report of the Bala Mohammed-led Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in which it declared “no zoning formula” for the party in the 2023 presidential contest.
In his latest statement, Ibem said Igbo was long overdue to produce Nigeria’s president, noting that “nobody can deny that fact. It is our turn and it is sine qua non.”
The COSEYL leader insisted that Igbo people had sacrificed and waited patiently for the “plum job” and would therefore not accept any excuse this time.
“It is an undeniable fact that Ndigbo have been more committed to the development and economic advancement of the country and deserve to be supported by other geopolitical zones to occupy the number one office in the country.
“The orchestrated plot by some persons to jettison zoning of the presidency now that it is the turn of the South-East to produce a Nigerian President come 2023 is a declaration of political war against Ndigbo. It is a calculated attempt to relegate to the background all the sacrifices and political investments made by Ndigbo towards the progress of the country and we will resist it,” Ibem warned.
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume, has said he is against the North producing the next President after Buhari’s tenure. He said for the sake of justice, fairness and equality, the South deserves to produce the next President, although he said the South-East must first believe in the unity of the country.
“I’m against APC (All Progressives Congress) producing its presidential candidate from the North. The APC presidential candidate should come from the South.
“I have said it before and will still say it again that if we have a Northerner as APC presidential candidate, to me, it is tantamount to the third term and it is not constitutional.
“The (APC) constitution says the president shall serve two terms and we said then that the North should serve two terms.
“If you say the North should produce the presidential candidate again, it means you are going for the third term, which is not fair and I believe in fairness, justice and equality.
“Let candidate from the South — and that means, South-South, South-East and South-West clinch the ticket.
“For the South-East, let me say, for example, you want to be the head of this house and you are calling for the division of the house, will it work?
“And I think the South-East needs to think about it. That is what is creating the rumour for the northerners to even say they want to be the president again. If you want to be president of Nigeria, you must believe in the unity of Nigeria. I support the candidate to come anywhere from the South.”