There seems to be no let down in the clamour for an Igbo man to become the President of the nation in 2023, as there are indications that prominent leaders of Igbo extraction are closing ranks and have been having series of meetings in order to intensify efforts on their bid to achieve the aim.
The meetings, which multiple sources said had leaders of thought, prominent politicians, traditional rulers, businessmen and industrialists, among others, in attendance had been taking place at the home of a former governor in the South East, whom sources say is the coordinator of the project. To this end, many of the Igbo leaders are said to have buried their political differences in order to accomplish the task.
However, sources within the group said there had been no decision on the choice of candidate as well as the political party to use for the project.
This is coming as Association of South East Town Unions (ASETU) lent its support to the agenda, saying that the region is handling the 2023 presidency agenda painstakingly, just as its National President, Chief Emeka Diwe, confirmed that there are ongoing meetings and consultations over the matter.
Adopting Yoruba model
Further checks by our correspondents however revealed that, while some of the Igbo leaders are insisting on fielding a common candidate for the top job, others are of the opinion that the race should adopt the 1999 Yoruba model, in which the major political parties: the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Alliance for Democracy (AD) fielded Yoruba men: Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (PDP) and Chief Olu Falae (AD).
According to most of the sources within the group, the Yoruba model is actually gaining attention of most the leaders, going by its acceptability within the assembly. “We are very serious about this project.
“For once we are putting our differences aside to see this thing through. We are insisting that they should give us the two candidates for the APC and the PDP, so that it would be like what happened to the Yoruba race in 1999,” said one of the sources.
It was also gathered that a prominent Igbo business tycoon, who is very close to a former governor in the South West, has offered to bankroll the project, and to be assisted by other magnates.
The businessman, whose ‘empire’ cuts across the West African coast, is already reaching out to those that may want to prove stubborn, and he is said to be in touch with his friends in other regions, including the South West and the North over the project.
According to our source, the meeting has the blessings of all that matters in the South East, including those that are not presently resident in the country, as some of them who couldn’t attend had given their blessings to the parley.
“It was a meeting supported by our leaders, irrespective of political affiliations. Everybody wants an Igbo man to clinch the seat, so it depends on how we play our own game.
The meeting will later resolve who and who to run and which platform. “But for now, we just want everybody that matters to key into the project, and that is what we are gradually achieving,” the source said, adding:
Once that is fully settled, the next stage would be to determine those that can accommodate “our interests when they get to office.”
•Excerpted from a Saturday Telegraph report.