By G9ija

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo at the weekend made a fresh pitch for a president of Igbo extraction in 2023.

The main socio-cultural group of Ndigbo, rising from a meeting of its Elders’ Council in Owerri, the Imo State capital, also insisted on the restructuring of the country to ensure fairness, equity and harmonious co-existence.

The council, under the leadership of Prof. George Obiozor, in a communiqué, mandated the group’s President-General to collaborate with other stakeholders to make the Igbo presidency a reality in 2023.

The council stated that the Igbo agenda could only be achieved in consultation with other ethnic nationalities. The elders urged qualified Igbo to show interest in the 2023 presidential race.

The group stressed the need for different components of Nigeria to unite and hold dialogue on the country’s future.

Highlighting the points in the communiqué, Obiozor called for a national dialogue on the political, economic, social and cultural structure of Nigeria vis-a-vis the challenges facing the country.

The communiqué also highlighted the worsening insecurity that’s giving many people concern and mandated the Ohanaeze Ndigbo leadership to work in close consultations with state governments in Igboland to fashion out ways of protecting the Igbo.

The council stated that Igboland needs a security outfit to address issues peculiar to the people and to support efforts of the federal government.

It frowned upon the current situation whereby the Igbo resident in other parts of Nigeria have become easy targets and guinea-pigs during hostilities, both within the country and even in some parts of Africa like Ghana and South Africa.

The council mandated Ohanaeze leadership to fashion out ways of encouraging government in the Igbo-speaking states to become more proactive in the pursuit of policies to boost both agriculture and manufacturing.

The council decried the recent national statistical figures that ranked some Igbo-speaking states as highest in the number of unemployed people, adding that a home-grown approach for tackling the unemployment monster should be pursued.

The communiqué also emphasised the need to further pursue and implement the Alaigbo Stabilisation Fund, which was initiated by the immediate past administration of Chief Nnia Nwodo.

It, therefore, adopted the report of the Alaigbo Stabilisation Funds Steering Committee for the improvement and investment in the welfare and growth of Igbo land.

The council also mandated the Ohanaeze Ndigbo leadership to pursue a deliberate policy of ensuring a noticeable and measureable improvement in the quality of education in Igboland.

According to the group, while it recognises the right of every Nigerian to freedom of speech, nobody henceforth, has the authority to speak for Ndigbo except Obiozor.

The council, therefore, directed the Ohanaeze leadership to go into direct talks with other ethnic groups and governments at all levels on ways of finding a lasting solution to the problems facing Nigerians.

Addressing the media after the meeting, the Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma, commended the Ohanaeze Ndigbo leadership on what it has achieved in a short while.

He encouraged them to look into the security arrangements in the various Igbo states and communities and see how best to support and equip them to continue to secure Igboland while the various governors look for ways of more sophisticated security arrangements for the South-east.