The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has condemned the statement credited to the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El Rufai, that the South-East region will not get the 2023 Presidency by insulting and threatening other Nigerians.
In a statement on Friday by Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, Secretary-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, the group described El-Rufai’s assertion as “idiotic and laughable.”
It stated that the 2023 Igbo presidency belonged to the Igbo and the Kaduna State governor should stop blackmailing the region and focus on the security challenges confronting his state.
El-Rufai spoke during a webinar organised by the Africa Leadership Group and tagged “Developing a Viable Nation 2”. Pastor Ituah Ighodalo of Trinity House hosted the event.
El-Rufai, while responding to a question about why someone of Igbo extraction had not become Nigeria’s president yet, had said, “I don’t think anyone has stopped the South-East from going for the Presidency. But you see, you cannot get the Presidency of Nigeria by threats or by shouting victimhood. This is a political process, and you have to engage other parts of Nigeria to convince them to support you.
“I think the South-East is going about it the wrong way because if you look at the APC (All Progressives Congress), for instance, we do not have many footprints in the South-East.”
But the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, said, “Nigerians are aware of the backstage activities of Gov El Rufai as the ‘Idi Amin of the North’, whose interest is contradictory to the Northern collective interests.
“He is only pushing the selfishness of the few cabals deceiving President Muhammadu Buhari without any solution to the insecurity challenges in the north and now spreading in the south. We urge El Rufai to fix the Kaduna State insecurity challenges before discussing the 2023 elections.
“Southeast is not alone in the secessionist movements. We have seen Oduduwa and Middle belt ethnic groups displaying flags of Oduduwa and Middle belt nations, as both groups are in the same self-determination struggle as the Igbos.
“We are aware that in1999, Nigerians voted for Yoruba presidency based on the injustices meted against MKO Abiola which brought Obasanjo Presidency. We are aware that Niger delta struggles brought former President Jonathan to power in 2011.
“We are also aware that Gov El Rufai and other northerners used the Northern insurgency to push President Muhammadu Buhari to power in 2015. It’s time to use the 2023 Igbo Presidency project to end the Biafra agitation, as any attempt by El-Rufai and co-travellers to blackmail Igbos with secessionist movements is dead on arrival.”