Abia State governor Okezie Ikpeazu said he is not interested in becoming the president of Nigeria in 2023. He said until he serves his tenure as governor in 2023, he would not think of the office of the president.
The governor, however, gave reasons why the Igbo should be considered for the presidency in 2023. He spoke to State House correspondents yesterday after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said the Igbo are more knowledgeable about the country than other areas, saying they are pan-Nigerians who live and invest everywhere in the country.
While distancing himself from the 2023 presidential race, Governor Ikpeazu, said political parties must consider the yearnings and aspirations of the South East in selecting their presidential candidates.
He said, “I’m not interested in the presidency. I’m very busy as governor and thinking about what I will become now will amount to shortchanging my people who gave me a mandate for an initial four years and renewed it for another four years and it will terminate around May 2023.
“We are yet in 2021 and it will be self-serving for me to begin to think about what I will become instead of concentrating on serving my people for time they elected me.
“May be after 2023, I’ll begin to think about what next I’ll do.
“Having said that, I think that the south easterners have a right to take a shot at the presidency of Nigeria and I dare say that our qualification starts from the fact that we understand and know Nigeria better than the other states of Nigeria.
“I dare say this is my opinion. We go everywhere, we are everywhere, we invest everywhere, we are pan-Nigerian people.
“Today, a lot of people, on a lighter note are afraid of Sambisa. But for an Ibo man, Sambisa is a business opportunity. So, it will be preposterous of me not to add my voice to that one.
“However, the question of Nigeria president of southeast extraction is a national question that require negotiation, discussion and conversation with all parts of this country and I am least qualified to determine what happened in 2023.
“I also want to spend my time supporting the incumbent president to do his time and do his best while we wait for what happens to begin to unfold. So, these are my views about the presidency.”
The governor also spoke on the qualities that the 2023 presidential candidate must have and how the political parties may choose the individual.
He said, “In first place, anybody who wants to aspire to the highest post of the presidency, it doesn’t matter where you come from, must have what I regard as pan-Nigerian mentality.”