Association of Arewa Communities in Igbo land has thrown its weight behind the clamour for the emergence of a president of Nigeria of Igbo extraction in 2023.
At a press conference in Umuahia, the Abia State capital by the association, the national president, Alhaji Mohammed Nalado Umaru solicited the support of Nigerians in general for the clamour.
He said, “The unity of this country should be paramount in our hearts. This we can achieve by allowing an Igbo man to emerge as president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2023.
“This is the time, we should give our consent for an Igbo executive president. Our people should give them the benefit of doubt to lead the country in the next political dispensation.”
He warned that if given the opportunity, they should speak with one voice to avoid a repeat of what happened to them during the 1999 primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Jos, Plateau State capital.
“They went to the primary so divided that it took a little effort by Chief Olusegen Obasanjo, who later won the presidential election to pick the party’s ticket even though he was not the favourite,” he said.
According to him, much of the crisis in the South East is caused by the marginalisation of the people in many areas by both the present and previous administrations, saying the time to end it had come.
He argued that the present situation where an Igbo is neither the president, vice president, senate president, House of Representatives speaker, Inspector of Police, a service chief, nor director general of department of state service (DSS) marked the height of marginalisation.
The president said in pursuance of the agenda, they had concluded plans to tour every part of the country with the message and to correct some misconception other sections have about Ndigbo.
“Some of the false impressions are that they hate northerners, don’t sell land or lease out shops to them, and deny them approval to build mosques. All these are aimed at tarnishing their image,” he added.