George Obiozor, the president-general of the Ohaneze Ndigbo, says the body is seeking a Nigerian president of Southeast extraction, and not an Igbo president.
He spoke in Umuahia on Tuesday, where the Ohaneze inaugurated new executive to oversee the affairs of its Abia State chapter.
“Ohaneze Ndigbo is not talking about an Igbo president but a Nigerian president from the South-East,” stated Obiozor, a retired diplomat and former director-general of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA).
“The (civil) war has since ended, and for equity, justice and fairness, Nigeria should support a candidate from the South-East to become president. After the war, we have continued to thrive and engage other sections of the country in the most friendly manner,” he explained.
Obiozor said the southeast could be placated by being allowed to produce the next Nigerian president the same way it was done the South-West region in 1999, based on the annulment of the 1993 presidential election that was won by MKO Abiola.
“Nigeria took a decision in 1999 to present Chief Olu Falae and Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as presidential candidates, and Obasanjo was chosen,” said the Igbo leader. “Such a deliberate political arrangement could have been applied to the South-East in the run-up to the 2023 poll to give the zone a sense of inclusiveness,” he said.