The National Leader of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and former Federal Commissioner for Information, Chief Edwin Clark, has canvassed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor in 2023 should come from the South-East geo-Political zone of the country.
The Elder statesman’s call enjoyed the backing of President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Professor George Obiozor, who restated the call for the Igbo to produce the president in 2023.
However, he stressed that the Igbo should be from the South-East and urged Igbo-speaking people from Delta and Rivers states not to aspire for the exalted position but should all back the South-East to achieve it in 2023.
Clark stated this yesterday at his Asokoro residence, Abuja when he received the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and some South-East leaders led by the President General, Professor George Obiozor.
According to Clark, the time has come for the South-East region to produce the President of Nigeria and 2023 is the time.
The Ijaw leader, who called for synergy, and sacrifice among the people, said that the struggle may not be easy but the region must reach out to other geo- political zones of the country, woo and engage them. He also urged the South-East region must put its house in order, work in unison, and as one indivisible zone.
Clark said: “The era we have reached now is that we have agreed to work together. How do we go on, how do we move on? I think that is the stage we have reached.
“I don’t belong to any political party, but I speak my mind. The man who brought politics into Nigeria was late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. I knew him when I was I was 20 years when he visited Warri. We trekked 12 miles to go and see him. Some of the problems we are having today in Delta was as a result of the support for Azikiwe and without that, we would not have got Mid-West region that later became Bendel State and now Edo and Delta states. We are together, we are one.
“We are supporting the South-East region. Anybody from from Mid-West, anybody from Oshimili South and North, Aniocha South and North, Ika, Agbor or Ukwani, if you say I am ready to be the President of Nigeria because I am an Igbo, that is punishable because when you do something that people don’t like, it is abominable.
“I have said it, all the Igbo in Anioma, Rivers, in Delta, where ever they are, this is the time for Igbo South-East President. We have the same problem, when we went to the 2014 National Conference, we said that the South-East has five states, they should be given additional states so that everyone will have same states like in other zones. If that will stabilise Nigeria, create them.
“We want the President coming after Buhari to come from the South-East, we are together.
“Let me advise, if you must fight a war or fighting for any thing at all, we must put our house in order. What do we do with other voices that are not in tandem with our voices? We must find a way to see what can be done, they have their point but at the same time, they should also listen to us.”