Okwesilieze Nwodo, a former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says the elite in the south-east will join Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), to demand Biafra Republic if the region does not get the presidency shot in 2023.
Kanu has been at the forefront of the agitation for Biafra over the claim that the Igbo are being marginalised in Nigeria.
In an interview with Vanguard, Nwodo hailed Tanko Yakassi, elder statesman, who called for Igbo presidency in 2023.
Nwodo said the Igbo had been persecuted for over 50 years, advising those who want a secure future for their children to elect an Igbo man as president.
He said, “Yakassi’s call is very fair, and that is the correct thing. In the first republic, the country was led by Tafawa Balewa, in the second republic, Shehu Shagari led it, and then, those of us in PDP made a compelling case to move the presidency to the south-east, because even the military people were all from the north, apart from Aguiyi Ironsi who presided over for a short time.
“For 50 years now, we have been persecuted for fighting for freedom. When will this marginalisation stop? Anybody who loves Nigeria and who wishes Nigeria well should go for Igbo Presidency in 2023 for unity, fairness, equity and for Nigeria to move forward.
“It is only an Igbo man who will not marginalise any part of Nigeria because we constitute the semen that holds the country together. We are the only tribe that you find in every nook and cranny of Nigeria; Igbo are doing business and developing wherever they are as if it is their home.
“I don’t believe that the Igbo are not united; there has never been a time when any region produced a consensus candidate; everybody emerged through primary elections.
“There is no zone that has produced a candidate by consensus. It doesn’t matter how many people are interested in it. They will be subjected to party primaries, and the person with the highest vote wins.
“I agree with Nnamdi Kanu in everything he says about the marginalisation of the Igbo. He, more than any other person, has put it on the international map. If Nigeria tells the elites from the south-east that they would be treated as second class citizens in Nigeria, and that they can never be president, almost all of them will go with Kanu to fight for Biafra.
“Anybody who wants to be a second-class citizen can support whoever he wants. Any Igbo man who wants to bequeath a secured future for himself and generation yet unborn should support this call for Igbo presidency.
“In the spirit of fairness and equity, Nigeria should give the presidency to the south-east in 2023; otherwise, we will join him and fight for Biafra.”