Ahead of the 2019 general elections, three Igbo groups – the World Igbo Youth Congress, WIYC, the Igbo Students’ Association, ISA, and the South-East Women Professionals, SWP, have shortlisted prominent Igbo politicians to run for the presidency.
The decision came after their extra-ordinary general congress held in Enugu on Friday. This is coming few days after the Ohanaeze Youth Council, OYC, equally declared that there would be no going back on the Igbo presidency in 2019.
According to Daily Post report, the OYC had declared that should it not realize Igbo presidency in 2019, it would see to the actualization of Biafra in 2020. Similarly, the three Igbo groups, which met in Enugu shortlisted the Deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, former Anambra Governor, Peter Obi, Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, former Abia Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, immediate past first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, among others.
The groups equally lambasted Igbo leaders over their recent visit to the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo at the Aso Rock, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
This was contained in a communique issued after the meeting, as signed by Dr. Ugwu Francis, Deputy President General, WIYC, Comrade Francis Njoku and Glory Izuora, President and secretary, respectively of ISA, and Dr. Mrs. Nkem Nwuzor and Dr. Mrs. Helen Dike-Orji on behalf of the SWP.
It read: “We are outraged over the recent self-serving visit of some Igbo leaders to the Aso Villa Abuja. While we respect their right as Nigerians to visit any place of their choice, we are against the use of such trips for the pursuant of personal glory and goals.
“We observed with dismay that rather than present basic issues affecting the Igbo nation, they merely went there singing songs of ‘Nigeria unity.’ “It is a common knowledge that Ndigbo are grossly marginalized in every sphere of the nation, including the position of presidency.
“These cries of marginalization have consistently fueled Biafra agitation and the only way to end these agitations is to demonstrate, not just in words, but in practical terms that Ndigbo are part owners of the Nigeria project.
“Consequently, we declare that those hosted by Osinbajo did not represent Ndigbo in any form but their personal interests. “So, having examined these issues, we hereby align ourselves with the position of the Ohanaeze Youth Council Worldwide as we kick-off today an aggressive campaign for Igbo presidency.
“The following names have been shortlisted as presidential candidates of Igbo extraction: the Deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, former Anambra Governor, Peter Obi, Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, former Abia Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, immediate past first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, Air Comodore Ebitu Ukiwe, (rtd.), Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika (rtd.), Oby Ezekwesili, Prof. Pat Utomi, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, Senator Hope Uzodinma, among others. These and many more will pass through screening by the Igbo Presidency Project Committee.