No fewer than 85 political and socio-cultural groups across the country, yesterday, expressed support for the emergence of an Igbo person as president of Nigeria in 2023.
They, therefore, declared support for the presidential bid of former President of the Senate and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim.
Coordinated by the United for Better Nigeria Initiative (UBNI), the groups said it would be just for the next president of the country to come from the South East, adding that Anyim remains the most qualified for the job.
Director General of UBNI, Mrs. Nkolika Mkparu-Okeke, speaking during the formation of a national coalition in collaboration with northern and southern groups in Abuja, he said Anyim understands what it takes to build the country, having served as SGF and President of the Senate, among other responsibilities.
Mkparu-Okeke said Nigerians should support a president of Igbo extraction for inclusiveness, equity and fairness, adding that all-inclusiveness would unify the country and ensure its growth and development.
Her words: “We worked hard to select the best candidate despite the fact that there are many candidates from the South East and the entire country.
“All we are asking is for the country to support a president of South East extraction for inclusiveness and fairness. It is morally right. We are not claiming that it must be given to us, but it is high time we got people in the South East to preside over the affairs of Nigeria.
“The South East has served the country in different capacities and they have delivered effectively. All those looking for presidency are qualified but UBNI is looking for the most qualified, who would cut across the entire and understand what the ordinary Nigerian feels. Such a person should also understand that Nigerians are in dire need of advancing the country.”
“We and 84 other groups want to ensure the aim is achieved and we enjoin Nigerians to join us in making it come true for the benefit of the country. Therefore, all should endeavour to get their voters card, because 2023 will be like no other, as it would need tenacity and audacity to make it work.
Insisting that Anyim was capable of resolving the country’s most daunting challenges, he said: “Nigerians are doing well in other parts of the world and are capable of replicating this in the country. As diversified as we are, we need good leadership to appreciate the strength of Nigeria.
“Anyim has the requisite experience for the job having being President of the Senate and SGF, among other responsibilities. He is prepared and has the temperament. We need someone that could unite the country. For a new beginning.”
Speaking on behalf of the coalition of northern supporters, Shehu Suleiman, also said it would be just and fair that the next president comes from the South East.