Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has faulted Labour Minister, Dr Chris Ngige’s claim that Igbo people must join the All Progressives Congress (APC) to make it easier for the South-East geopolitical zone to produce the president in 2023.
Addressing APC members in Alor in Idemili South LGA of Anambra State on Sunday, Ngige hailed President Muhammadu Buhari’s contributions to the development of Igbo land.
He said, “The Federal Government of President Buhari has done well for the Igbo.
“The Social Investment Programme for women of President Buhari is second to none.
“The Enugu airport is receiving attention with N10bn mapped out for its renovation and refurbishment.
“Before long, International airlines will be struggling to operate there.
“The 2nd Niger Bridge is 45 per cent completion and it will be toll-free unlike what the Obasanjo and Jonathan administrations proposed.”
But the Ohanaeze Ndigbo described the minister’s call for Igbos to join APC so as to produce the president as “pedestrian and childish”.
National Publicity Secretary of the group, Prince Uche Achi-Okpaga, added that the call was baseless as Igbo people voted massively for the APC in 2019.
“Is Ngige from Ghana? Is he not an Igbo man?” he queried.
“The APC got all the percentages of votes they needed from the South-East in the February 2019 presidential election.
“Was it a fluke or doctored? Were the votes not Igbo votes? So if he is saying Igbo should join the APC, is he saying that there are no Igbo in the APC, including himself?”
He added that Nigeria would not make progress unless an Igbo man became the president.
Achi-Okpaga said, “I think his statement is very pedestrian. It is just that when you want to kill a dog, you want to find a fault to hang it. Just to find a fault to say that the Igbo are this or that. Let me tell you, until an Igbo man becomes President nothing will move forward. Nigeria will continue to be a motionless engine.
“We have said the Igboman sees the entire world as his village. So if an Igbo man becomes president of Nigeria, there is no state, there is no village in Nigeria that you cannot find an Igbo man. So he has no time to marginalise anyone. The Igbo man lives in Sokoto, so the government will like to build roads in Sokoto because his brother lives there. The Igbo man lives in Kafachan. The Igbo live in Ogun. They live in Cross River. They live in all parts of Nigeria.
“The whole of Nigeria is the horizon of Igbo man. There’s no ethnicity in Igbo man. It is only the Igbo that practise one Nigeria; every other person is a hypocrite. So until Igbo man becomes president, Nigeria will keep running round the same circle. What Ngige said was just childish.”