The Igbo apex socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has rejected the report of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the 2023 presidential election, describing it as despicable, un-reflective and unconscionable.
Naija News reports that the panel chaired by Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State has said zoning should not determine the party’s presidential candidate, come 2023.
“In line with certain unwritten conventions of the nation’s history, many people think that, for fairness and equity, the North East and South East geo-political zones that have had the shortest stints at the presidency should be given special consideration in choosing the presidential flag bearer of the party for the 2023 elections,” Bala Mohammed said.
“While we admit that this is a strong argument, we should not lose sight of the fact that Nigeria is endowed with many capable and very experienced leaders in every part of the country. Moreover, the exigencies of the moment demand that nothing should be compromised in choosing the leader with the attributes to disentangle the country from the present quagmire.
“Therefore, we think that every Nigerian, from every part of the country, should be given the opportunity to choose the best candidate through a credible primary election, as a way of institutionalising a merit-based leadership recruitment process, for the country.”
Reacting in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Alex Ogbonnia, Ohanaeze described the reports as a move by some highly placed Nigerians to inflame the passions of the patient but aggrieved parts of the country.
Ohanaeze stated, “For the avoidance of doubt, Nigerians agreed on rotation of the presidency between the North and the South; in which case it is the turn of the South after the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari. For clarity purposes, both the South-West and the South-South had both taken their turns in the persons of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, respectively.
“It is rather very unpatriotic and trifles on the sensibilities of the Igbo for the committee to even suggest the rotation of the presidency to the North East in the first instance and open to every part of Nigeria as a major slight.
“It is disturbing that all the indignities, perceived and real, that the South-East suffer in the current dispensation are the outcome of the Igbo support to the PDP since 1999. It is on record that in 1999, the Igbo were in hock with the PDP through which Chief Olusegun Obasanjo emerged the President of Nigeria; same in 2003 and the subsequent elections in Nigeria.
“On the other hand, the Igbo had invested much political capital in the PDP only to be betrayed by its apparent lack in principles. The leadership of the PDP is advised to retract the comment made by Bala Mohammed and countermand the content of the obnoxious committee’s report in the interest of the party.”