All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Joe Igbokwe, has said an Igbo candidate cannot be trusted in the 2023 presidential election.
Igbokwe, who is an aide to Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, stated this in a PUNCH Live interview on Thursday.
According to him, nobody is going to vote for people who would use the same position to divide Nigeria.
He said the South East geopolitical zone has indeed suffered “injustices,” adding that in “everything we share in this country, we get the least.”
He, however, noted that despite the “injustices,” violent agitations and killings were not the way to press for justice, equity and fairness.
Igbokwe lambasted members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and other secessionists in the South East, saying they are going about their agitation in a wrong manner.
He alleged that IPOB members are supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), adding that the secessionists began agitations to leave the Nigerian entity after the PDP lost the 2015 presidential election.
The APC chieftain said that only the PDP is currently campaigning in Anambra ahead of the November 6 governorship election, while other parties are allegedly being attacked.
Asked whether the agitation by IPOB and the other secessionists in the South East would be laid to rest should the zone produce a President in 2023, Igbokwe said it is not by force that the next Nigerian leader emerges from the zone.
He said Igbo politicians should do the work if they so desperately want the next Presidency, adding that Igbo people must drop Biafra agitation to be considered for serious national offices.
“If you want other Nigerians to vote for you, then you have to count how many bridges that you have built; bridges of understanding, bridges of communication, bridges of friendship.
“I want to see your bridges and you want them to vote for you? Nobody is going to vote for somebody who will use that position to divide Nigeria.
“You cannot be talking about secession and talking about producing the President of Nigeria. We need to settle the issue first; we need to say, ‘Look, we have given up this demand for Biafra, grant us justice.’
“Today, Asiwaju (Bola Tinubu) is in the saddle. How did Buhari become the President of Nigeria? It was Asiwaju that wooed him in 2013 with Tony Momoh, with Baba Akande and they went to Daura to meet Buhari.
“They said, ‘Look, you scored 11 million votes in 2003, 11 million votes in 2007, 12 million votes in 2011. If I pull South West, you will get 17 million votes and you will become President.
“They went there to build a bridge and the rest is now history and that was how Buhari that had lost hope became the President of Nigeria.
“Somebody connected, somebody had sleepless nights, somebody trusted.
“You will sit in one place and you are blackmailing other people, you are not making friends, you are not building bridges and you are threatening people.
“Drop your arms first and enter planes or luxurious buses to South West and pledge your loyalty to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, that, ‘Look, we have been able to settle issues in our home, we need to be President, we have not been President since after the civil war…
“Once you have settled that you have dropped this agitation, that you are part and parcel of Nigeria,” he said.
Igbokwe, who had claimed his house in Nnewi was burnt over by IPOB arsonists, further said he supports the planned imposition of a state of emergency in Anambra, noting that Governor Willie Obiano has shown that he cannot handle what is playing out in the state.
“With this kind of fear, you can’t have election in Anambra…South East is now a war zone, the police is helpless. State of Emergency is not out of place,”he said.
The APC chieftain urged President Muhammadu Buhari to facilitate the creation of one more state to make states in the South East six like other geopolitical zones in the country.