The apex Igbo socio-cultural Organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has warned that any political party in the country that denies the zone 2023 presidential ticket will regret the action.
This, according to the Igbo group is because there are many other ways to kill a rat.
The Deputy National Vice President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Ichie Damian Okeke -Ogene, who spoke yesterday with The Nation, said Ndigbo were not backing down on its earlier stand that it is the turn of Ndigbo to produce the next president of Nigeria.
Okeke-Ogene was reacting to the recent statement credited to Bala Mohammed of the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) that his party had thrown open its presidential ticket to all the zones in the country.
This is even as many other stakeholders in the Southeast zone that spoke to The Nation at the weekend expressed fear that Bala Mohammed’s utterances may set the agenda for eventual extinction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Southeast.
According to the Ohanaeze boss, “what we are looking for is a Southeast President in 2023 of Igbo extraction and nothing less and for equity and fairness.
“Anyone or group is free to say anything, but I’m telling you today that they will have their say, while we will have our way.
“The option is open to all and there are other political parties in the land. Any party that patronizes Ndigbo will equally be patronised by Ndigbo, mark my words.
“Any party that denies Ndigbo the 2023 ticket will have to regret it. The option is for those who believe in democracy,” Okeke-Ogene said
He maintained that Ohanaeze still had its decision to make, adding that there was no cause for alarm.
Speaking in the same vein, Abians resident in Aba, the commercial nerve of the state and Umuahia, the state capital, bemoaned Mohammed’s comments that the 2023 Presidency of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is open to all parts of the country.
Some of the respondents including Prof. Charles Chinekezi, Mr. Gilbert Francis, Tochukwu Nwandu, among others, asked members of the PDP in the Southeast to fight for their rights. They accused the former FCT Minister of setting an agenda for the eventual extinction of the PDP in the Southeast, adding that it will be selfish of the PDP leadership to jettison ceding the party’s presidential ticket to the Southeast in 2023, a region they affirmed has contributed so much to the survival of PDP in the country.
According to them, Bala Mohammed by his action lacks historic background on the role the Southeast and South-south have played to the continued existence of the party, especially since the APC took over power in 2015.
Gilbert Francis who alleged that Mohammed was working for and massaging the egos of some northern cabals that see Nigeria as their birthright, said that the Southeasterners are now wiser to be used and dumped by any section or people who do not have the interest of the region at heart.
Chinekezi said “Bala Mohammed by that statement is not fair to the Southeast. The Southeast has done too much for the PDP. PDP won and governed Nigeria for about 16 years because of the cooperation it got from the Southeast and South-South.
“The Southeast supplied them the individuals; we supplied them the personnel and everything. But at the end of the day, the typical Southeasterner of Igbo extraction has been avoided. Yet we have given them the best brains, the most skilled people and committed people in policy and its analysis and operations.
“So, if the young man is now saying that the 2023 Presidency is open and that they cannot somehow look for a way to zone it to the Southeast, it means that Bala Mohammed is still insisting on the same old game.