Igbo leaders have commenced consultations to ensure the South East produces the president in 2023.
Daily Sun gathered that elder statesman, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, is leading the push to make the dream a reality.
It was learnt that Iwuanyanwu recently met with some notable Igbo leaders including first republic Minister of Aviation, Chief Mbazuluike Amaechi, and the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, as part of efforts to strategise ahead of 2023.
In one of the meetings, it was gathered that one of the criteria set for any Igbo presidential aspirants is that he or she must not be above 70 years of age.
Iwuanyanwu, confirmed to Daily Sun that consultations had begun with the target to ensure the zone produced the President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor.
He said 10 prominent Igbo sons (made up of professionals and politicians) have been shortlisted across party lines for consideration. Iwuanyanwu, who declined to mention those shortlisted, however, said age was a very important factor for the zone as it hopes to present a robust and energetic president to Nigerians to elect.
“I don’t support Igbo presidency, but I support a Nigeria president of Igbo extraction, this is what we want, we don’t want a person who would be there and think he is representing Ndigbo,” said Iwuanyanwu.
“The question is if the Igbo deserve it; yes, we deserve it. We have qualified people; Igbo have played major roles in shaping the destiny of Nigeria, starting from independence our leaders like Nnamdi Azikiwe made the crusade for independence
“I have met with prominent Igbo sons. I have met with Mbazuluike Amaechi, and President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Nnia Nwodo and 10 names have been pencilled down already for the position,” Iwuanyanwu said.
According to him, whoever emerged as preferred candidate from the zone has to detribalised.
Said Iwuanyanwu on qualities of target aspirants: “You must look at the 36 states and Abuja and regard it as your territory; you must solve the problems of the 36 states and the FCT and take it as your own; you must protect lives of citizens, take responsibility for the prosperity and peace of everybody; be honest and transparent, tolerant to people’s views, allow people to practice their religion without interference; and you must practice democracy.” (Daily Sun)