As part of the efforts to ensure that the South-East geopolitical zone of the country produces the next president in the 2023 elections, an Igbo Think Tank, NzukoUmunna, has announced plans to hold a national dialogue.
Themed “Greater Nigerian Conference” (GNC), the dialogue is expected to solicit and deepen support for Igbo presidency, said a statement on Thursday by the spokesperson of the organisers, Mr. Collins Stev Ugwu.
According to Ugwu, the national conversation aims to persuade Nigerians to see the fidelity of a Nigerian president from the South East region as the fairest national consensus, adding that the conference will have all presidential aspirants from the South East, Governors from South East and Southern Nigeria in attendance, and is geared to enthrone equity, justice and fairness.
The event which is billed to hold at the Executive Hall of the International Conference Centre, Abuja, on April 25, 2022 by 11am, will gather Nigerians of all persuasions and substance, including the elders, opinion moulders, politicians, entrepreneurs and youths from the North, South, West and East for “a rational dialogue on the moral force of South East’s quest for Nigerian president from their zone.
“The initiatives for this consequential conference by the nonpartisan foundation, for a greater Nigeria, is to underscore the need for progressive good governance, equity in diversity and fairness by inclusion, in the conscience of our national politics.
“We are convinced that Nigeria is never better ripe for a highly marginalized South East, to earn their desire for Nigerian Presidency through such deliberate sacrifice, as a steadfast reinforcement of our common nationhood.
“We are determined by the eminence of the leading lights of this conference, in the persons of former governor of Enugu State, Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo and Distinguished Senator Victor Umeh, both former Chairman of prominent national parties in Nigeria, as Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the GNC Organizing Committee respectively, to ask Nigerians to gallow the Southeast region to make history for one Nigeria,” said the statement.
Highlighting the imperatives that make the event a necessity, the Executive Secretary of Nzuko Umunna, Ngozi Odumuko, noted that at no time better than now is best to cast the net of presidential recruitment to the South East, given the inspiring stature of men with proven capacity, competence, fitness and knowledge, eager for fair consideration to serve this country as president, the way others regions have faithfully done unhindered.
Odumuko said: “It’s our humble conviction and sober resolve that putting these worthy candidates on the table before Nigerians, will make them appreciate deeply, how prepared South East has come through, in their compelling quest to balance our political sensitivity towards a stronger union, with a brave full integration of Southeast Ndigbo.”
The President of Nzuko Umunna, Senator Chris Anyanwu, further clarified that the task before the GNC Organizing Committee is to drive home the obligation of ur country in urgent search for real nationhood, owe to her greatness, that true healing is achieved, when sores of history are treated intentionally, then ignored conveniently.
Anyanwu added: “We feel blessed by the kind of men and women who accepted to lead this dialogue, and gratefully indebted to all Nigerians whose passion and goodwill are persistent, that the challenges of our unity and progress as a nation, require the tenacity of faith and patience, they see in their South East brothers.
“The Greater Nigeria Conference with the theme “Together We Can” will build on the strength and determination of all lovers of peace, justice and progress, to work better together, listen to each other more, and act selflessly in a pan Nigeria spirit to remove the yoke of South East exclusion to the highest office in their country.”
The GNC Conference will also be attended by a special delegation from Ohaneze Ndigbo, South West Afenifere leaders, Middle Belt Forum, Arewa Consultative Forum, and Pan-Niger Delta Forum amongst others.
“Already, confirmations of attendance and participation from Nigerians in the diaspora, and within are great, in what will be a frank engagement to preach the message of solidarity to all, that Southeast region is worthy of their trust and ready to serve his country, as their President since the unfortunate civil war more than fifty years ago,” the statement further read.
Currently, the South-East has notable presidential aspirants across the political parties. They include former Senate President and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim (PDP); former Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi (PDP), former Deputy Governor of the Central bank of Nigeria, CBN, Professor George Moghalu (ADC); former President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, Mr. Sam Ohuabunwa (PDP); former Imo State Governor, Senator Rochas Okorocha (APC); and current Ebonyi State Governor, Engr Dave Umahi (APC).