In what appears to be ruling out notable politicians like Prof Pat Utomi, Rotimi Amaechi out, a former President of the Senate, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim says Igbos outside the South East can not contest the 2023 Presidency.
Anyim’s statement is coming on the heels of a raging debate of if the zoning the presidency to Igbos automatically means those Igbo speaking politicians in other zones can benefit from it.
There are many Igbo speaking people in Edo, Benue, Rivers and Delta, but Anyim seems to have dashed their hopes, saying only those from the South East can benefit
There are notable Igbo speaking politicians who are not from the South East. Amongst whom are; a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress APC, Prof. Pat Utomi from Delta State, Rotimi Amaechi former governor of Rivers state and incumbent minister of Transportation amongst others.
But Anyim said “political office zoned to the Southeast does not extend to Igbos from a zone outside the Southeeast political zone.”
Anyim, while delivering the 6th World Igbo Summit lecture attended by prominent Igbo statesmen at Gregory University, Uturu, Abia State, suggested the need for the Southeast to constructively and creatively engage other geo-political zones in the country to make its clamour for Igbo President in 2023 a reality, according to The Nation report.
The engagement, according to him, will engender confidence and create an opportunity for making the necessary compromises to secure their (other zones) support and votes.
The lecture was titled “Identifying the political interest of the Igbos of the Southeast geo-Political zone in Nigeria and Strategies for Its actualization.”
The former Secretary to the Government of the Federation under the Goodluck Jonathan administration advised the Igbo to have it at the back of their minds that Igbo President would not come to them as a “gift” but something that they must work hard for.
He pointed out that the concept of equal citizenship means that the nation, its resources, and leadership belong to all Nigerians.
His words “The rotation of prime positions among geopolitical zones have no doubt become a common practice such that, its breach generates political discontent.
“The point to note is that a political benefit accruing to any geo-political zone cannot be satisfied by appointing any person outside of that geo-political zone irrespective of commonality of language or culture, i.e. political office zoned to the Southeast does not extend to Igbos from a zone outside the Southeast political zone.”