The Immediate past first lady, Patience Jonathan, has been shortlisted among other prominent Igbo politicians to run for president in 2019 by a coalition of Igbo groups.
The Igbo groups, which shortlisted the personalities include; the World Igbo Youth Congress (WIYC) the Igbo Students’ Association (ISA) and the South-East Women Professionals (SWP).
The coalition, according to Daily Post, said it shortlisted the following persons as presidential candidates of Igbo extraction as listed below:
1. Deputy Senate president, Chief Ike Ekweremadu
2. Former Anambra governor, Peter Obi
3. Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha
4. Former Abia Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu
5. immediate past first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan
6. Air Comodore Ebitu Ukiwe, (rtd.)
7. Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika (rtd.)
8. Oby Ezekwesili
9. Prof. Pat Utomi
10. Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu
11. Senator Anyim Pius Anyim
12. Senator Hope Uzodinma
It said more persons will pass through screening by the Igbo Presidency Project Committee.
The groups said they will align with the position of the Ohanaeze Youth Council Worldwide to begin an aggressive campaign for Igbo presidency, adding that funds will be mobilized across the world for their campaign.
They also declared that the Igbo leaders who recently had a meeting with acting president, Yemi Osinbajo do not represent Ndigbo in any form but their personal interests.
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The groups made the statement in a communiqué signed by Dr. Ugwu Francis, Deputy President General, WIYC, Comrade Francis Njoku and Glory Izuora, President and secretary, respectively of ISA, and Dr. Mrs. Nkem Nwuzor and Dr. Mrs. Helen Dike-Orji on behalf of the SWP.
The communiqué read in part: “We are outraged over the recent self-serving visit of some Igbo leaders to the Aso Villa Abuja. While we respect their right as Nigerians to visit any place of their choice, we are against the use of such trips for the pursuant of personal glory and goals.
“We observed with dismay that rather than present basic issues affecting the Igbo nation, they merely went there singing songs of ‘Nigeria unity.’
“It is a common knowledge that Ndigbo are grossly marginalized in every sphere of the nation, including the position of presidency.
“These cries of marginalization have consistently fueled Biafra agitation and the only way to end these agitations is to demonstrate, not just in words, but in practical terms that Ndigbo are part owners of the Nigeria project.
“Consequently, we declare that those hosted by Osinbajo did not represent Ndigbo in any form but their personal interests.”
Meanwhile, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has described the south-east delegation which recently held a meeting with acting president, Yemi Osinbajo, as a group of Igbo politicians who are sympathetic with the APC administration.
The pro-Biafra group in a statement issued on Thursday, June 15, by its media and publicity secretary of IPOB, Emma Powerful, said the delegation was neither a representative of the views of people of the south-east nor could it speak for Biafra agitators, The Sun reports.
It said the meeting was a senseless gathering of what it called a few compromised political jobbers from Igbo states. The group maintained that any dialogue with the federal government which does not include any agreement on a referendum on the Biafra Republic was a waste of time.
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