Days after former President Olusegun Obasanjo called on Igbo politicians to consider a 2019 presidential bid, All Progressives Congress, APC, leaders from the South-East, yesterday, rebuffed him with their endorsement of another four years for President Muhammadu Buhari.
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, who hosted the APC leaders, also disclosed that three Igbo governors were already in talks with him towards defecting to the party. He announced that the leaders had chosen Senator Ken Nnamani to be the leader of the APC in the South-East.
Obasanjo had, last week, at an event in Abeokuta, Ogun State capitl, said the Igbo people should be allowed to produce the president, possibly in 2019.
Among those present at yesterday’s meeting, held at the Imo International Convention Centre, IICC, Owerri, were Nnamani, Sir Emeka Offor, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, Chief George Moughalu, Tony Eze, Ebuka Onunkwo, Jombo Offor, Eze Madumere, members of the National Working Committee of the APC and some prominent politicians in the zone.
Speaking after the meeting held behind closed doors, Okorocha said:
“Now that Igbo leaders are together in APC, Nigerians will hear us. There is a vacuum of leadership in the South-East APC. I am a governor. My brothers Chris Ngige and Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu are Ministers. Hence the importance of Ken Nnamani coming at this time. I decline the leadership of Ndi-Igbo in APC. With Ken Nnamani, the question of who is the leader of APC in the South-East has been answered. Ken Nnamani is the leader of APC in the South-East.
“Senator Nnamani should then work with other leaders like Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Jim Nwobodo and a host of others to give Ndi-Igbo political direction. Those who have joined the party or who want to join should do so to build the party and not to cause confusion. APC is the right party for the Igbo, and the only party that can guarantee Igbo presidency.
“We are going to support President Mohammadu Buhari for the eight years he is going to lead the nation. This is the time for Ndi-Igbo to come and work together. We are also going to use the Anambra election to show that APC has arrived South-East. The Igbo played bad politics in 2015. Today, we have lost a lot. We are not anywhere because of our bad politics”.
Okorocha also disclosed that three serving governors in the South-East were in touch with him and will soon join APC, adding that being the only APC governor in the South-East did not give him joy and advised that other political leaders in the South-East to take advantage of the moment and join APC.
In his speech, Nnamani said the Igbo needed more of their leaders at the national leadership of the APC where decisions are made, and even at the National Assembly and other strategic levels.
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