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2015 Igbo Presidency is a Non-issue, Says Ozichukwu

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A former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nze Chukwu Ozichukwu, has criticised agitators of an Igbo presidency, noting that the demandshas no bearing on the real issues of development of the South-east geo-political.

He said if anything, the demand should be an indigene of Igbo extraction.
According to him, “What they should be agitating for is for a president of Igbo extraction. That is someone who speaks the language and that he could come from those areas that have a link with the Igbo people comprising the South-east and South-south.”

There have been strident calls by some groups that it is the South-east turn to produce the president in next year’s poll.

But in an exclusive interview with THISDAY, Ozichukwu, who led the PDP in the South-east for eight years, said the agitation is parochial and one that would only assist in promoting exclusivity.

He said there was no historical proof that the presidency had any meaningful impact on the section that produces the president, stressing that he spent the major part of his early years in the North and did not see how power has led to any development in the region.

“I was in Takum, present day Taraba State from the age of 19 as a teacher. That is one place that has all the potentials to develop, but apart from the little the colonialists and missionaries did in that place, you cannot point to any meaningful development. This town is in the North that has produced leaders. What did the place get from having powerful people in government? I went to Donga, Ibi, Wukari and many other areas and I can assure you that I didn’t see how power has helped these areas. Now power is in the South-south. Can the people there say that power has really changed their lives? The point is that it doesn’t really matter. The only thing might just be the psychological satisfaction that comes with saying one’s area has produced the president,” he said.

The PDP Chieftain said the South-east had continued to develop through self-help as the elected and appointed leaders continue to fail the people. He noted further that the South-east has not been marginalised in the country, pointing out some of the major positions, occupied by South-easterners.

He said the preponderance of appointees in top position should have helped in developing the region.
“I keep saying what would the region get from producing the president? Is it that the president would increase the revenue allocations to the South east? Can he do that? Is he going to attract special development to the zone? Today, the governors are there. The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) is there. So how much of that has translated into real development for the ordinary people?” He noted.

Ozichukwu however noted that the North-east and South-east zone are the only areas that have not produced a president and may thus feel entitled to it.

“The North-east produced a Prime Minister who was cut off too soon. The same thing for the South-east. So these zones might feel entitled to producing the president. Yet, we must start thinking within the box instead of outside it. I really don’t support this regional or ethicised basis for producing the president,’’ he said.

Reacting to insinuations that the PDP might want to eliminate General Muhammadu Buhari, ahead of next year’s polls, Ozichukwu said the former head of state had lost his political appeal. “All that talk about Buhari is over blown. He can’t be a threat to the fortunes of the party in any election. Go and check the last result. How did he do in the entire south? His so called fame is only in one part and it is not shared in many other parts of the polity.”

Article Credit: Thisdaylive

Updated 4 Years ago

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