By BARBARA KALU
Ahead of the 2019 general elections, Igbo leaders have been urged to put on their thinking caps and re-examine the current political alignments in the country to reposition the South-East geopolitical zone for the nation’s Presidency in 2023.
In a goodwill message to a well-attended meeting of Igbo leaders from Imo State, the Chairman of the Southern Senators Forum (SSF) Senator Hope Uzodimma said the advice had become necessary because current political indicators in the country all point to the possibility that the South-East might lose out in the nation’s political equation in 2019 even more than it did in 2015.
Uzodimma who is also the Senate Committee Chairman on Customs, Excise and Tariffs spoke on New Year day in his country home, Omuma while addressing prominent political leaders from Imo State in a special meeting aimed at advancing the political fortunes of Ndigbo in 2019.
According to him, “every right thinking Igbo man must be worried that the recently released Federal board appointments clearly indicate that the Igbo people are losing out in Federal political calculations. We must be conscious of the fact that other geo-political zones appear to be outsmarting us as they did in 2015. Right now they are positioning themselves as the strategic allies of the Northern political elite and they appear to be receiving favorable attention as reflected in the Federal board appointments”.
He said there was an urgent need for Igbo leaders to put on their thinking caps and re-examine their present political leaning which he believes will put Igbos at a grave disadvantage in 2019.
He declared; “ Let me be honest with you my brothers and sisters, I think we are putting ourselves in a disadvantaged political position, we need to re-strategize and quickly strike strategic alliance with our Northern political elite ahead of the 2019 elections so that what happened to us in 2015 will not be our lot in 2019”.
He maintained that unless that is done, Igbos might find that in 2019 two planks of the tripod that make up Nigeria would have conspired to put them into political disadvantage as they did in 2015 adding: “such a development will spell a great tragedy for the Igbo nation and we cannot afford the consequences.”
“I tell you my brothers and sisters we should grow above politics of region. We need a National Platform to properly integrate our people into the National Political grid. Let us forget the ugly events of the Civil War and be part of a larger Nigeria. In the next four years, it is hoped that the North would have spent eight years in the presidency and after that the presidency will come back to the South.
“May I once more remind you that Obasanjo from the South-West spent eight years as President, Jonathan from the South-South spent six years as President. The logic is therefore that in 2023 when the presidency is due to come back to the South, it will be the turn of the South-East to produce the president. We cannot toy with this great historic opportunity. We must be part of the going concern (Project Nigeria). Mind you, you can only reap where you sow. A word is enough for the wise” he said.