Ohanaeze, an influential socio-political body of Igbo, has said it will only support a presidential candidate in the next presidential elections who pledges to restructure Nigeria on assumption of office.
The group reaffirms that only restructuring was the solution to the country’s problems.
The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Mr. Chuks Ibegbu, spoke to Punch correspondent in Enugu, reiterated that the apex Igbo association would continue to insist on national reconstruction .
Although, during Owerri APC mega rally, President Muhammadu Buhari promised to support Igbo to produce the President at the ‘right time’, which many presume to be 2023, Ibegbu said Ohanaeze would only support Buhari in 2019 if he was willing and ready to restructure Nigeria.
He further clarified that the position of Ohanaeze Ndigbo on the 2019 election is that the Igbo will identify with a presidential candidate or candidates that are ready to restructure the country and exhibit equity in the polity. He said:
“For us, the issue at stake is not just the Presidency. You can be the President of Nigeria but still be unable to achieve anything. It is possible that a President may not be able to make any difference in the lives of the people as a result of the current structure of the country.
“It is only through restructuring that we can have equity and justice. Restructuring is the solution to all the challenges in this country, including corruption. Without restructuring, you are wasting time if you say you are fighting corruption.
“If we don’t restructure, Nigeria will continue to be the capital of poverty in the world.”
Ibegbu urged Buhari to immediately send an executive bill on restructuring to the National Assembly if he needs the support of Ndigbo in 2019.
He said, “Buhari should send an executive bill to the National Assembly for an extra state for the South-East and more local government areas. He should revisit the issue of abandoned property, and he should engage the pro-Biafran groups in dialogue.”
Ohanaeze which was locked in a bitter dispute with IPOB another Igbo political group that takes a hardline on Nigeria’s political situation has reconciled with IPOB.