Prominent Leaders of Ndi-Igbo, on Saturday, expressly jettisoned the counsel of former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, by endorsing President Muhammadu Buhari, for a second term in office, come 2019.
The decision came on the heels of Obasanjo’s recent clamour for an Igbo Presidency, in 2019.
At the well-attended meeting at Owerri, the Imo State Capital, a former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, emerged as the leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the South-East.
Speaking after a closed door meeting, the host Governor, Rochas Okorocha, said: “Now that Igbo leaders are together in APC, Nigerians will hear us.
“There is a vacuum of leadership in the South-East APC. I am a Governor. My brothers Chris Ngige and Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu are Ministers.
“Hence the importance of Ken Nnamani, coming at this time I declined leadership of Ndi-Igbo in APC.
“With Ken Nnamani, the question of who is the leader of APC in the South-East has been answered. Ken Nnamani is the leader of APC in the South-East.”
He went on: “Senator Nnamani should then work with other leaders like Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Jim Nwobodo, and a host of others, to give Ndi-Igbo political direction.
“Those who have joined the party, or who want to join, should do so to build the party and not to cause confusion. APC is the right party for the Igbo, and the only party that can guarantee an Igbo Presidency”.
He further stated: “We are going to support President Muhammadu Buhari, for the eight years he is going to lead the nation.
“This is the time for Ndi-Igbo to come and work together. We are also going to use the Anambra election, to show that APC has arrived the South-East.
“The Igbo played bad politics in 2015. Today we have lost a lot. We are not anywhere, because of our bad politics.”
Okorocha also disclosed that three Governors in the zone were in touch with him to join the APC soon.
He added, that being the only APC Governor in the South-East, does not give him joy, and advised that other political leaders in the geopolitical zone should take “advantage of the moment and come into APC.”
Nnamani said the Igbo need more of their leaders at the National leadership of the APC, where decisions are taken, and at the National Assembly and other strategic areas.
The former Senate President stressed: “Some of us going into APC, are not doing so because of hunger, but in the interest of the Igbos.
“We should play politics of ideas and avoid abusive words. Ndi-Igbo do not have the ingredients for opposition politics.
“We do not have the media, or business, or money, to play opposition politics, but we won’t ask for handouts.”
He continued: “How the Yorubas voted in 2015, should be an eye-opener. They voted both sides, but the South-East put their eggs in one basket.
“I am not of the view that everybody should be in APC, but those have seen the need should do so.
“If Governor Okorocha has realised that he needs more hands in APC, he should be commended. We are the worst enemies of ourselves.
“If we work together, we will go very very far. This is the time to play national politics.”
Nnamani said: “Some people could say we have the Deputy Senate President, but he does not attend the meeting of APC caucus, where important decisions are taken.
“We must think ahead. The benefit of that office is therefore personal, and does not enhance the political fortunes of the South-East people”.
Those in attendance at the meeting held at the Imo International Convention Centre, IICC, were: Ken Nnamani, Emeka Offor, Ifeanyi Araraume, George Moughalu, Tony Eze, Ebuka Onunkwo, Jombo Offor, Eze Madumere, members of the National Working Committee of APC, as well as other prominent politicians from the zone.