Former president of World Igbo Congress and Texas-based professor of Electrical Engineering, Kalu Diogu, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari and leadership of All Progressives Congress (APC) to consider zoning the 2023 presidential ticket to the South East for sake of stability.
He also hailed the Senate Chief Whip, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, for his visit to Minna, home of former heads of state, General Ibrahim Babangida and General Abdulsalami Abubakar.
He said the former Abia governor remains faithful to the nation’s unity and should be lauded for being a true nationalist.
Professor Diogu said the Igbo in Diaspora were worried that a section of the country wanted to cause disaffection and disunity by promoting propaganda against the South East.
Diogu, who spoke in an interview with BBC Igbo on Saturday, said: “Since Nnamdi Azikiwe’s close attempts to be Nigeria president, it’s only Orji Uzor Kalu who had been allowed to venture near that position in the 2007 presidential election. But he didn’t win. He came fourth. The most we have had is compensation for assisting non-Igbo to get into that position and what they gave us was a vice-president. It is not right for this to continue to happen.
“In 2023, South East would be making a statement that could shock Nigerians if their interest is ignored. The South West and South South have all been in that August position. It is only fair to give South East the necessary support needed to clinch the tickets of the PDP and APC. The North can no longer hide on the fear of an Igbo man dividing the country. We have Southeasterners who believe in the unity of the country even more than the northerners.
“I am calling on President Muhammadu Buhari, leadership of the two major political parties to reciprocate the actions and attempts the Igbo have made in the past; let them show us that our loyalty to them in the past was appreciated by supporting a South easterner to become the president of Nigeria.”
Meanwhile, an Anambra-based legal practitioner, Prince Darlington Okeke, has advised the zone to employ dialogue to woo other geopolitical zones rather than the use of threat, in its quest for an Igbo president.
Okeke gave the advice, yesterday, in Nkpor, Idemili North Local Government Area, Anambra State.
The apex Igbo sociocultural organisation and many other groups have backed the clamour for a president of Igbo extraction in 2023. However, some persons have threatened to join Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB leader, to fight for Biafra should Igbo fail to produce the president.
But Okeke, who re-echoed the call for the other Nigerian geo-political zones to allow the Igbo have a shot at the presidency said the aspiration would not be achieved through threat.
However, a political advocacy group, Nigeria Presidential Project (NPP) said those against the actualisation of Igbo presidency are enemies of Nigeria’s unity.