Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Director General, Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Osita Okechukwu has faulted the endorsement of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar and his deputy, Peter Obi, by some Igbo leaders.
Although Okechukwu acknowledged that in democracy endorsement was normal, he said the action was not well-premised.
In a statement issued Thursday, and made available to THISDAY, Okechukwu warned that the South-east must thread with caution in accepting promises made by the PDP’s presidential candidate, especially on restructuring the federation.
He said no one should be under the illusion that restructuring can be ordered with a fiat.
He also said he believed that the issue of Igbo presidency in 2023 can best realised with the support of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“My only concern is that they are posting the statement as if their position is the most viable option when the collective interest of Ndigbo is properly assessed? Without being immodest Professor Ben Nwabueze and Co’s option is 2nd rate to Igbo presidency in 2023, if actually they want to finally address the age long marginalisation of Ndigbo and create sense of belonging.” Okechukwu said.
He said whereas the Atiku restructuring mantra was appetising, the truism is that it cannot be done by fiat-executive order, but by the amendment of the rigid 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
“May I once more caution that Ndigbo should reflect deeply, be pragmatic and rational instead of entering a “one chance bus. APC and by extension President Buhari, is not against restructuring, per se, but wants an orderly restructuring; otherwise, they could not have set up the Malam El-Rufia Committee on Restructuring with its report receiving attention.
“For the avoidance of doubt, no four regions, as either mistakenly or mischievously quoted by Prof. Nwabueze & Co agreed on issues like region.
“Enugu, Ebonyi, Lagos, Ogun, Bayels, Cross River and majority of states in the North rejected region in the 1995 Abacha and 2014 Jonathan Constitutional Conferences and may likely reject it in any future Conference.”Okechukwu said.