Former president of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr Dozie Ikedife, on Sunday advised Igbo politicians planning to contest the presidency in 2019 to bury the thought.
Ikedife’s advice came a few days after the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Chief Ifeatu Obi-Okoye, said APGA was considering the Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, as its presidential standard bearer in the 2019 general elections.
Ikedife who spoke with our correspondent in his Nnewi home said the odds favoured the northern part of the country for the 2019 presidency.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and others coming from the north had better chances.
“I won’t advise any Igbo to pick a form for the presidential race. It’s a waste to do so.
“APGA can go ahead and field any candidate from Igbo to vie for it. It has such an inalienable right to field anybody as its candidate in the election but I don’t know what makes them think that Obiano would win.”
He argued that it was after a second term in office of Buhari that the South-East could start talking of the presidency.
He said, “The North has produced a president who has just done one term. But it is becoming a convention that any zone that produces a president does two terms.
“I don’t see why the APC should not want to go for two terms. When the North has had two terms following the
convention, the presidency should come to the south, and south east, willy-nilly.”
While advising the Igbo to be patient, Ikedife said what was important for the Igbo was “unity, speaking with one voice on national issues.”
He added that the Igbo should identify and lend their support to any of the presidential candidates from the north who would recognise the economic and infrastructure deficits in the South-East and South-South geopolitical zones.
He noted that the seeming marginalisation of the Igbo would be assuaged, “when you know that your country cares for you. What stops you from being patriotic? If a man treats you as a son, the tendency is to see him as a father.”