Eze made this known in an interview with Vanguard in his country home, Ukpo, in Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra State.
He said: Recently, there have been calls from some quarters for an Igbo to be president of Nigeria in 2023. What’s your take on this?
Listen, I don’t have any objections to that because only God can make anybody president including Igbo person. It is possible for an Igbo person to become Nigeria’s president in 2023. However, for us to achieve that, we must work with the North. Again, we shall pray to God to find an Igbo man who has character to help people.
I would prefer someone who has conscience; somebody who will remember the people. I don’t care where he or she comes from. During the time of President Jonathan, we had the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Pius Anyim. What did he do for Igbo people? He brought Julius Berger and they tarred his own road; the one leading to his house. All our roads were bad. It is President Buhari that is tarring our roads now.
Look at Enugu – Onitsha Road, Enugu – Port Harcourt Road, Second Niger Bridge. He went and modernized Zik’s grave. Did Jonathan do that? These South-East governors, does any of them ask whether you eat or not? For example, in Anambra State, Dunukofia Local Government Area makes about N150 million every month. Has Governor Obiano built anything in Dunukofia? Has he brought any industry to Anambra? Tell me. Your children, where are they going to go tomorrow? Go to Yoruba land in Ogun, you will see industries. Go to Rivers and you’ll see industries.
I started politics when I was very young. My father was a member of the Eastern House of Chiefs during the time of Nnamdi Azikiwe and then Premier Okpara. I used to open doors for politicians whenever they come around, and my father never opposed any leader, be he Yoruba or Hausa. It is not in our blood.
We preferred to live in peace with everybody. So, for the Igbo to be President, they must love themselves and work other regions. We must learn from Nnamdi Azikiwe. Zik was a wise man. During his time, he built bridges with the North through the Sardauna of Sokoto and Tafawa Balewa. It is important that we emulate Zik at this point in time in our lives as a people. The seed of discord between the North and Ndigbo should be broken totally so that both regions can enjoy harmonious relationship for the benefit of all.
Asked on why he said the northerners kove Igbo, he said:
Why I said so is because, after civil war, when Igbo properties were being seized in Rivers and other areas, northerners didn’t seize anything. In fact, they returned all Igbo properties including money made from them. So, northerners are kind. Again, when I went to the North, they didn’t know who I was but they supported me and helped me to establish (businesses). Abubakar Rimi (second republic Kano governor) gave me $12 million for Kano TV in 1980 when I didn’t have one naira. He called Governor Lar and he gave me that of Plateau for $12 million. It was the same thing in Katsina, Borno and Kaduna. Then, they put me in oil business. They didn’t care where I came from. Tell me any Igbo man who can do that.
Yes. The Anambra State Council of Traditional Rulers held a meeting with me. The purpose of the meeting was to appraise the achievements of President Buhari in the South-East and to reach a resolution for a thank you visit to the President. You see all he’s doing for us? Did you see the Onitsha-Enugu road? It is the best in Africa. What about Onitsha-Enugu road, Enugu – Port Harcourt road, Enugu airport, Second Niger Bridge and many others.
Buhari built and decorated the Zik’s mausoleum. Only a northerner can do that. So basically, we are visiting the President to thank him for the numerous developmental projects both completed and ongoing in the South-East, and to appeal to him to complete ongoing projects. We will also use the visit to beg him to dredge River Niger to allow ships berth at the river to help our people who are largely importers.
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