In a statement signed by its president, Mr. Akin Malaolu and made available to Vanguard in Abuja on Tuesday, the forum said they will not be tricked into supporting any other presidential aspiration other than the one from the south east region.
Recalling that the former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu had declared his interest, the Forum described the move as a troublemaking adventure even though it recognized the right of the national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC to pursue his ambition.
Titled “Tinubu’s Presidential Ambition is a Troublemaking Adventure”, the statement read thus: “It is no longer a speculation that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is interested in becoming the next president of Nigeria come 2023. It is within his right as a Nigerian to go for it. But for the purpose of further clarity, we see the move to visit the President as a troublemaking misstep purposely to create an impact that may unbalance the present drivers of the party, the progressive governor’s forum and enlarge the fault lines already visible and to midwife a division within.
“This attitude is uncalled for, particularly from any democrat that is worthy of being a member of an association and at a time the Nation is looking for peace.
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Moreover, It is important for us to set the record straight, that the presidential interest from any tribe other than from the IGBOS may take the nation into a deeper political trouble that may set the nation ablaze if care is not taking.
“Those who see Alhaji Abubakar Atiku’s and Tinubu’s interest as their “Right” obviously also believed that Igbo interest is a “Hope” and we can from this stage imagine what calamity we have created for 250million of lives and families and how quickly we have destroyed the bridges made by southern governors for our common struggle and to the understanding of our people in the North and South that oneness amongst ourselves and within our diversity is more important than the interest of political brigands and their fair weather helpers.
“As leaders of thought in the Southwest, we have taken inventory of conditions in our diversity and our findings convinced us that the fate of our vast people and ethnic nationalities across Nigeria can only be made well, if we rotate the office of the president amongst ourselves and in a uniform fashion. It is very important for leaders both in the South and North to put some sort of order in their feelings and form a new basis for their future actions to avoid taken 250 million of our people into near war scenarios.
“We have looked in astonishment on all of our political and religious decisions so far, and as leaders and fathers, with a mixture of pride and apprehension, watch leaders achieve a scandalous and applauded fame in political tricks.
We therefore plead with leaders mostly in the south not to play the “Traitor Role”.
We have taken a position to support IGBO presidency come 2023, the declaration we have also made and we are not going to take it back.