The Southeast will not accept a vice president position in next year’s general election, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide reiterated yesterday.
Insisting that is the region’s turn to produce the president, it warned Igbo sons and daughters not to accept to be running mates to candidates from other regions.
The highest socio-cultural organisation said any such compromise would violate an agreement between Ohanaeze and Igbo leaders.
National Publicity Secretary, Alex Ogbonnia, said Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Igbo leaders had taken a position on the matter.
He warned that anybody who violates the pact would incur the wrath of the land.
The Ohanaeze spokesman told The Nation: “Ohanaeze Ndigbo has made it abundantly clear and all the Igbo leaders have resolved that no Igbo, not only the Southeast, should accept the position of the vice president.
“It is extended to the Igbo of the Southsouth and Middle Belt – Igbo of any kind should not accept the position of vice president.
“That’s the position of Igbo leaders, including Ohanaeze.
“There is no option to it; we don’t give room for choices or options. It is a position taken, with no room for option.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Igbo leaders held a meeting and we have agreed that no Igbo of even Southsouth or anywhere should accept the position of vice president.
“Do you know what it means when all the Igbos get together to take a position?
“Any person who goes contrary to it is incurring the wrath of the land.
“Igbos know the consequences of going contrary to the position of Igbo.”
On the rumour that Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma is angling for the position of vice president, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo spokesman said the governor is a supporter of Igbo decisions.
“I do not believe that he will do anything against this collective decision,” Ogbonnia said.
He described the governor as a strong advocate of Igbo unity, peace and progress.
“It is unthinkable he will ever go in that direction.
“Uzodimma is doing well as governor; he has more time to stay in Imo and I don’t expect that the issue of vice president will ever cross his mind.”
Igbos who have declared their intention to contest for president are Ebonyi State Governor Dave Umahi, former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Prof Kingsley Moghalu, former Senate President Anyim Pius Anyim, former Imo State Governor Senator Rochas Okorocha, a former Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) Sam Ohuabunwa and Nollywood actor, Mr Yule Edochie.
First Republic Minister of Aviation, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, had called on the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to choose their presidential candidates from the Southeast.
According to him, the office of the vice president should not be an option any politician from the Southeast should be interested in.
Amaechi added that he does not expect any serious politician from the region to accept to be a running mate to a Northern candidate after eight years of President Buhari.
Ohanaeze President-General, Prof George Obiozorm had also said a president of the Southeast extraction would ensure political balance and a sense of belonging to the region.
Speaking on Channels last month, he pointed out that it was only the Southeast that has not had a shot at the presidency since the return of democracy in 1999.
The former Ambassador to the United States said history, the principle of fairness, morality and “all logical reasoning” justify the demand for an Igbo president.
He said: “It is important at this time in the history of Nigeria for each region to be given a sense of belonging for peace to reign.
“We in Igboland are ready to give you candidates that are confident, with the capacity to perform.
“We ask the nation to create a political balance that includes not just the South and North but the Eastern region of Nigeria.”
According to Obiozor, every zone has produced a president; therefore, the prospect of Igboland being denied again will not be equitable.
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