Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi says Nigeria needs a president from the South-East geopolitical zone in 2023 to create wealth and correct injustices meted out to Igbo people.
IPOB has called for a secession of the region from Nigeria. But Mr Umahi believes that the agitation for an independent state of Biafra will be over once an Igbo man becomes the next president.
“Let me tell Nigerians that there is nothing to be afraid of in an Igbo man becoming president. We need to be wise and stand together,” he said. “We have property and investments everywhere. So, when people tell you about Biafra, it is not about seceding at all.”
Mr Umahi, a presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, stated this when he addressed delegates of the party from the South-East in Owerri on Tuesday.
He was received by his counterpart in Imo, Governor Hope Uzodimma, chairmen of the party in the zone, and delegates.
“We want one Nigeria built on the platform of equity, fairness and justice. The Igbo man will do better under a united Nigeria. We want to be fairly treated,” declared Mr Umahi.
The presidential hopeful added that the 2023 general elections would be a time for Nigerians to prove the ‘no victory, no vanquish’ declaration that was made after the civil war.
He stressed the need for rotation between the North and South, saying that the body language of President Muhammadu Buhari suggested that he wanted the presidency to go to the South but worried that the South-South and South-West aspirants would not make the chance of an Igbo presidency easy.
“My position is that our brothers from the South-South and South-West should give us a chance on the same platform upon which we demand that the presidency should come to the South-East,” said the Ebonyi governor. “The moment they do that in the spirit of oneness, you will see everything falling in place and it will be swift. But if the presidency is rotated between regions.”
According to Mr Umahi, the North-East and South-East are the most marginalised regions in Nigeria.