The former national chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Okwesilieze Nwodo, has said that Mr. Peter Obi, of the Labour Party could actualize the dream of South Easterners by winning the Presidential election in 2023.
Nwodo, who was a governor of Enugu State equally said that the Igbos would not remain political slaves serving other geo-political zones in the country.
While expressing disappointment on the PDP, and the All Progressives Congress, APC, for denying the Igbo aspirants their presidential tickets, he lambasted some Igbo politicians who abandoned their brother-aspirants to campaign for their counterparts from other zones in their parties.
He added that this is a period of political alignment and negotiations for the Igbos in order to find a platform to actualize their political dreams and remain relevant in Nigeria politics.
“The Igbos would be looking for allies who can meet their irreducible minimum to remain part of Nigeria political system. While they look for that in the major political parties, they have a big plan B in other parties. I know that the two important Igbos would be on the ballot paper for their political parties. The one that is most promising is Mr. Peter Obi, of the Labour Party. Dumebi Kachikwu, the younger brother to the former Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, also secured the ticket of African Democratic Congress. So, if we do not get anything from APC and PDP, we can get something through other political parties.
“So, this is a period of negotiations, alignment and re-alignment. The Igbos will not just give up like that. We are not happy about how we were treated by APC and PDP, but the game is still on, it is not the end of it yet. I am happy that we have alternatives to remain relevant in Nigeria politics.
“For those of us who have been campaigning for South East presidency, we are not happy that some of our leaders in PDP and APC didn’t join in this struggle. If you are talking about two PDP Governors in South East who campaigned for South South aspirant, what about the Senate Majority Whip, Orji Ozor Kalu, and Governor of Imo State , Hope Uzodinma, who campaigned for Ahmed Lawan, when we had strong aspirants from South East in their parties? Our Igbo political leaders didn’t do well this time, especially when they knew that it was the turn of South East to produce a president for the country in 2023, ” he said.
Also speaking on the Igbo Presidency in 2023, the President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State, Prof. Damian Opata, said that the Igbos must do a critical self reflections on their political strategies in order to get incorporated into Nigerian Federation and remain relevant in the political space.
“There is lack of political sagacity which the Igbo politicians of old like Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, and Dr. Michael Okpara, had among our present crop of politicians in South East Nigeria. These duo had the trust of the people and they delivered. We have lost that sense of collective solidarity. If it is possible, the Igbos should set up a committee to look into the reasons that led to the loss of collective solidarity which ruled them in the past.
“The level of grassroot political consultations among the Igbos have reduced too. People can just emerge on their own without proper political consultations. They do not deepen their consultations to cover different aspects of Igbo socio-political lives so that they can engage many people and carry them along with them.
“The most important thing is that the Igbos need to do a critical self reflections on their political strategies so that they can get incorporated in Nigerian Federation, but if Igbos want to go separate ways, it should be a collective project that should go through negotiations and end up with referendum without it turning violent,” he said.