From Chuks Onuoha, Umuahia and Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
Three Igbo groups, the World Igbo Youth Congress (WIYC), Igbo Students’ Association (ISA) and South-East Women Professionals (SWP), have shortlisted prominent Igbo politicians to run for presidency in 2019.
The decision came after its extra-ordinary general meeting held in Abia at the weekend. This came few days after the Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC) declared that there would be no going back on Igbo presidency in 2019.
The OYC had declared should it not realise Igbo presidency in 2019, it would see to the actualisation of Biafra in 2020.
A communique issued after the meeting was signed by Francis Njoku and Glory Izuora, president and secretary, respectively, for ISA, and Dr. Mrs. Nkem Nwuzor and Dr. Mrs. Helen Dike-Orji for SWP. Deputy President General of WIYC, worldwide, Dr Francis Ugwu, read out the communique to the media.
“It is common knowledge that Igbo are grossly marginalised in every sphere of the nation, the position of the presidency inclusive.
“These cries of marginalisation have consistently fuelled Biafra agitation and the only way to end these agitations is to demonstrate, not just in words, but in practical terms, that Igbo are part owners of the Nigeria project. So, having examined these issues, we, hereby, align ourselves with the position of Ohanaeze Youth Council, Worldwide, as we kick-off an aggressive campaign for Igbo presidency.
“The following names have been shortlisted as possible presidential candidates of Igbo extraction: the Deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, former Anambra Governor, Peter Obi, Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, former Abia Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, immediate past first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, Air Comodore Ebitu Ukiwe, (retd.), Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika (retd.), Oby Ezekwesili, Prof. Pat Utomi, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim and Senator Hope Uzodinma, among others. These and many more will pass through screening by the Igbo Presidency Project Committee.
“We assure them that efforts are on top gear and funds will be mobilised across the world for their campaign.”
Meanwhile, Movement for Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has warned Igbo leaders to desist from the clamour and campaign for Igbo presidency in 2019.
The group said there was no going back on Biafra restoration as championed by its group and other genuine Biafra agitators.
It said there will be no election in Biafran land in 2019. The group insisted that the election day will be like May 30, 2017, or even worse because they would defend the land and the people.
MASSOB’s National Director of Information, Edeson Samuel, in a statement yesterday, disassociated the group from any visit to Aso Rock because according to him, the group was not informed.
“MASSOB, after studying the move by some faceless groups, trying to take undue advantage of the clamour for Biafra by our group, IPOB and other genuine pro-Biafran agitators, said the faceless group thought that by campaigning for Igbo presidency in 2019, will make them relevant in Nigeria politics.”