Igbo Presidency 2023: Why Igbo Leaders Endorsed Buhari for Second Term- Osita Okechukwu, DG, BON

Buhari’s 2nd term is the fastest route to enthronement of Nigeria president of Igbo extraction. Any other northerner elected will do 8 years, but Mr President going by the constitution has only four years left. Therefore, we looked at the fact that there is a zoning convention that the northern elite in the enlightened patriotic interest bestowed on the Nigerian 4th republic. We were there when the north persuaded the late Abubakar Rimi not to run under the platform of the PDP in Jos presidential primary in 1999. They also persuaded Dr Olusola Saraki of blessed memory who could have won the APP ticket not to run in Kaduna. That was the beginning of the zoning or rotation convention journey. The first lot fell on the South-west and incidentally we voted for the South-west candidate – former President Olusegun Obasanjo. We voted for him in spite of the fact that the late Dr. Alex Ekwueme our son was shoved aside. In fact we voted for his two tenures; in 1999 and 2003.

This is payback time, because my people even neglected Buhari who had our own brother the late Oyi of Oyi, Rt.Hon. Dr Chuba Okadigbo as his running mate in 2003. In 2007, 2011 and 2015 we didn’t vote for Buhari. In spite of the fact that we didn’t vote for Mr. President he still included us in his broad base critical infrastructural development of Nigeria. As I said before, if you look at the politics as well, zoning confirms the fact that Buhari is the only northerner in 2019 who will do only four years. All we are saying is that if we vote for him it enhances our chances of appealing to our brothers in the South-west who have had eight years and South-south five years plus, since we entered the fourth republic. Equity and justice is on our side.

We are not talking from the 1960s because if we recount our only six months span of General Aguiyi Ironsi, our equity and justice canvas resonates. Our primary duty is vote for Buhari and appeal to our South west and South-south brothers, especially because we voted ex-presidents Obasanjo and Jonathan massively. We also voted for them massively in 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015. In real politics out of the three regions of the south; two of them have had a taste of the presidency, so we have a moral force on our side, we have justice on our side, we have equity on our side and if you allow any other northerner to have the presidency in 2019 outside Buhari it then means you are talking of God knows when. We cannot afford unforced error, as tennis players will admonish. So why don’t we fasten the journey more so when we have something handy; the critical infrastructure in our bosom? These are part of the points we are making, that those who want to bite the big apple must also align in the mainstream of the Nigerian politics. The best option is to endorse Buhari and vote for him accordingly.

Thirdly, we endorsed him because we want to send clear message to our brothers and sisters from the South-east that collectively we owe it to ourselves to position ourselves better than others. For we don’t care who Nigerians will choose, but let it be from our kindred for equity and justice to prevail. Our simple appeal is to our brothers and sisters who are not members of APC to join us in this effort to get President Buhari elected. 

-Director General, Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu, speaking to This Day Live on Igbo Presidency 2023

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