Notable Igbo leaders, Chieftains and members of the All Progressive Congress (APC), on Tuesday converged in large number in Owerri, the Imo State
Notable Igbo leaders, Chieftains and members of the All Progressive Congress (APC), on Tuesday converged in large number in Owerri, the Imo State capital for a mega rally with a promise that the Southeast zone will support President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election in 2019.
They noted that the Southeast has benefited immensely from President Buhari’s administration in the last three years, more than what they got for the 16 years of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) administration.
Apart from this, the APC leaders said that supporting President Buhari’s second bid will brighten the chances of the zone to produce Nigeria’s president in 2023.
Speaking at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, venue of the event, the Igbo leaders took turn to highlight some of the landmark achievements the Buhari’s administration has recorded in the Southeast, with special emphasis on the second Niger Bridge and the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway.
Imo State Governor and Chief Host of the event, Rochas Okorocha, said that what President Buhari is doing in the Southeast has endeared his administration to the people.
In his words, “what we are celebrating here is the leadership of President Buhari. It is true that the Igbo made a mistake in 2015 but the Igbo believe in Buhari for 2019 and the Igbo are ardent followers”.
The Imo governor also dismissed insinuations that the APC is fragmented in the Southeast, stating that, “nobody should use the current misunderstanding in the party to judge the performance of the party in the Southeast. There are similar misunderstandings in other zones as well”.
Kano State Governor, Abdulahi Umar Ganduje in his speech acknowledged that the Southeast are truly in support of the President’s reelection.
He said, “With what I have seen today, it is clear that the Igbo has made a u-turn in politics and they are now in the centre of politics in Nigeria. I am impressed with the massive support for the APC and Mr. President”.
Former Governor of Bornu State and one time National Chairman of the PDP, Ali Mordu Sherriff in his brief speech, said that with the mammoth crowd that gathered for the rally the Igbo are for Buhari. “I have seen with my eyes and confirmed that the Igbo are for Buhari”.
Leader of the Southeast APC caucus in the House of Representatives, Nnanna Igbokwe, said that the Lawmakers are convinced that President Buhari’s administration has dealt favorably with the Southeast, assuring that “we will mobilize our people in large number in our respective states and vote for APC in 2019 to ensure that we give the President a resounding victory in the Southeast in 2019”.
The newly elected APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, in what appeared to be his first assignment, said that “I am left with no doubt that the APC has taken over the Southeast and our opponents will not sleep today in Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Abia over what is happening here today”.
He continued, “I want to salute the determination of the Imo State Governor, today he has shown who truly owns the land. I am truly impressed and I will tell the President that what I saw today is not a social media stunt but physical demonstration of support for the APC”.
In his response, President Muhammadu Buhari told Igbo that Nigeria’s Presidency has always been negotiated on the position of strength.
He said that the Igbo Presidency in 2023 will be possible if Ndigbo can invest the same skills and determination they deployed in the business sector into politics.
According to Buhari who was represented at the Southeast APC Mega Rally by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, “the Igbo should navigate their way into the centre of national politics by supporting the APC in 2019”.
He stressed, “what happens in 2019 will go a long way to determine the fate of the Igbo nation as it concerns the 2023 Presidency. So it is important that they put away party sentiments in the overall interest of the Igbo nation and ensure that the APC gets landslide victory in the Southeast”.
The President emphasized that Nigeria needs focused leadership to overcome the plethora of problems created by the PDP administration, “many people are running around to be the President of Nigeria but Nigeria is not a banana republic, what Nigeria needs now is a detribalized, honest, transparent and determined leadership and that is what President Buhari represents”.
Dignitaries at the event include, Modu Sherriff, former governor of Bayelsa State, Timinipre Silver, Kano State Governor, Abdulahi Ganduje, Senators Uche Ekwunife and Andy Uba, APC National Auditor, George Moghalu, APC National Organizing Secretary, Emma Ibediro, Anambra APC governorship candidate in the 2017 election, Dr Tony Nwoye and other members of the APC NWC.