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2019: Buhari’s promise to Igbo won’t give him votes, say groups

Ihuoma Chiedozie, Jesusegun Alagbe and Chidiebube Okeoma

Pan-Igbo groups have responded to President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise to back Igbo presidency in the future.

While expressing doubts about the President’s sincerity, they said there was no way he would support the Igbo, considering the manner in which he had treated the tribe.

The groups warned the Igbo not to take Buhari seriously, stating that the reason for his promise was basically to get their votes in the 2019 presidential election.

President Buhari had said he believed that the Igbo had the right to the presidency and promised to back the tribe at the “right time.”

However, the National Publicity Secretary of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prince Uche Achi-Okpaga, faulted the President for not specifying what the “right time” was.

Achi-Okpaga said the President should first address the marginalisation of the Ndigbo by his administration.

He said, “Let him leave the Ndigbo alone and face the self-imposed political quagmire staring him in the face. What does he mean by the right time? What and when is that?

“What constitutional provision barred the Ndigbo from contesting for the presidency? Whereas civil servants retire at 60, Buhari is contesting at 76. He is not Almighty God, the creator of the Igbo.”

The group stated that the Igbo would not be swayed by Buhari’s promise, saying, “At any rate, the Ndigbo will vote wisely according to their conscience.”

The Country Administrator of the Southern Nigeria Forum and leader of the Njiko Igbo Forum, Revd. Okechukwu Obioha, said Buhari could never support an Igbo to succeed him, but only made the promise to receive votes in 2019.

Obioha stated that the promise would not amount to voting for the President.

He said, “Who is talking of Igbo Presidency by 2023 from Buhari or the All Progressives Congress for that matter? The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Anything Buhari promises to do for the Igbo is a Greek gift.”

In the same vein, the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra insisted that Buhari hated the Igbo; hence he (Buhari) would never support an Igbo to become president.

MASSOB’s National Director of Information, Mr. Samuel Edeson, urged the Ndigbo not to vote for Buhari in 2019.

He said, “Buhari is just trying to deceive those who are gullible enough to believe him. Remember that he made a lot of promises before the 2015 elections which he has not fulfilled.

“The Igbo should not take him seriously. I urge the Ndigbo not to support him. They should not vote for him in 2019. MASSOB is not even interested in the presidency of Nigeria; we want Biafra as an independent country.”

The President of the National Youth Council, Ebonyi State, Mr. Sam Igwe, described President Buhari’s promise as unfortunate, saying it was purely to seek votes.

He said, “We have resolved that President Buhari should not seek re-election and should not rule Nigeria again. He does not believe in the existence of Igboland.

“The recent recognition of Chief MKO Abiola by the presidency as the winner of the June 12, 1993 election and the honour bestowed on Alhaji Babagana Kingibe, without the inclusion of Prof. Humphrey Nwosu, the then-Chairman of the National Electoral Commission who risked his life during the conduct of the election, is unacceptable.”

The Organising Secretary of the Labour Party in Imo State, Igboayaka Ogboayaka, said no amount of political oratory would cajole the Igbo people into supporting a government that had marginalised the ethnic group race for a second term in office.

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