2023: Stakeholders task Igbos to come together, build bridges to secure presidency
•Warn against South-East youths beating war drum
The Igbos have been enjoined to learn to build bridges across the country in order for them to realise their ambition of producing the next president of Nigeria, come 2023.
The stakeholders, including the Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Drainage and Water Resources, Mr Joe Igbokwe, who is also Igbo Apex leader in Lagos chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC), and other Igbo leaders across the state, equally enjoined leaders in South-East region to dissuade their youths from beating war drum that would make the region secede from Nigeria.
Stakeholders from the South-East geo-political zone gave the counsel, on Thursday, at the unveiling of the book, “Igbo, 50 years after Biafra,” written by Mr Joe Igbokwe, the Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Drainage and Water Resources, which took place in Ikeja.
Chairman of the occasion, Mr Cutis Adigba, in his opening remark, said Igbo had always found it difficult to rule Nigeria because they refused to build bridges across the six geo-political zones that made up Nigeria.
He said it was saddening that after two decades that Nigeria returned to civil rule, the Igbo had predominantly identified with only one political party, contending that aligning with one party cannot advance the cause of the South-East people and make them realise their objective of producing an Igbo man as president of Nigeria.
Adigba, while noting that the successes recorded by the Igbo in business, lamented that they were not successful in playing politics at the national level due to their failure to reintegrate with other ethnic nationalities politically.
“The Igbo need to come together, reintegrate with other ethnic groups, build bridges in the country to enable them to produce the next president of Nigeria. The problem is because Igbo are not playing politics at the centre, they are not linked to the national grid,” he said.
“The Igbo must be linked to where the action is taking place, why should a goat be like a dwarf,” he queried.
Adigba, who identified with Igbokwe, urging him to continue in his crusade to fight the Igbo cause, maintained that the book publisher played politics outside his state so that the Igbo race can be integrated with other races in the country for better understanding.
Igbokwe, a former spokesperson of Lagos chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC), also in his remark, noted that there was the need for the Igbo people to stand up and build bridges, in order that their objective of producing the next president of Nigeria could be realised.
He cautioned against beating war drum in Igbo land, saying should war break, it would produce grave consequences, adding: “I am calling on all Igbo leaders to speak up because all actions carry consequences.
“I have decided to raise my voice, I hope my people will hear me. While trying to quell the effect of the war, our people are spoiling for another war, mayhem is being unleashed in Igbo land, and there is palpable fear.
“Those who could speak have lost their voice, unmindful of the consequences of their actions. I am calling on all Igbo leaders to speak up because all actions carry consequences, consequences of the silence will be too dastardly to sustain.
“Those silently supporting the wild wind should be careful or else they hand over the grave consequence to their children,” he said.
Igbokwe further admonished those spoiling for war to jettison their plan and embrace dialogue, urging them to learn from the Yoruba people who despite the challenges they faced after the annulment of June 12, 1993, the election did not go to war, but thereafter, the South-West region had the opportunity of producing two of her sons for the presidential election in 1999.
“You have to build bridges to become president of Nigeria, but it is unfortunate the Igbo are burning bridges,” he lamented.
Coordinator of Igbo in Lagos APC, Chief Uche Dimgba, said Igbokwe described the author, Igbokwe as a frank, fearless and reliable leader, who bares his view on issues and stand by his opinion, declaring that Igbos have confidence in him that, he would lead them right.
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