Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the National Organising Secretary of the party, Emma Ibediro, has said Igbo president is not a right, adding that their aspiration can only become reality if they can convince the rest of Nigerians to produce a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction.
The party chieftain disclosed this yesterday in Abuja in an interview with select journalists, saying presently, the Igbo people are not playing good politics.
He stated that “Igbo presidency is not a right, just like Hausa or Yoruba presidency is not a right too. Igbo presidency can only become possible if you work within the party and convince the rest of Nigerians to produce a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction.
“The fact that you are from South-east or from any other area is neither here or there. So, if the people from the South-east are aspiring to become Nigeria’s president, I think the first thing to do is to work within the party to get the rest of Nigerians to accept that position. It is not a right; that is what I would say.
“The South-east region needs to play good politics-the politics of engagement, consultation; the politics of getting other parts of Nigeria involved in their aspirations. But for now, I don’t think we are playing good politics.”
Ibediro said despite the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari campaigned in all the five states of the Southeast, just like he campaigned in every other state of the federation, he lamented that the return in terms of votes was not encouraging.
According to him, “You also need to encourage people to do something for you. You cannot at every point be asking for something without giving something back.”
Ibediro stressed that he didn’t want to be emphatic that there must be an Igbo person in 2023, adding that APC as a party was not built on the platform of dictating to the people what they want.
The APC chieftain said: “Remember, if you check the percentage of population of members of APC and check the population of Nigerians, you will see that we are even less than five per cent. So, we are talking about a president of Nigeria not a president of APC.
“So first of all, on whatever platform you want to achieve that aspiration, you have to work to get yourself acceptable to that platform one belongs.
“It is not going to be an automatic award that Nigerians should give the Southeast ticket for president. What of the situation where APC gives ticket automatically to somebody from the Southeast and he doesn’t win the election. Have you considered that?”