By Buchi Iwuji, Owerri
The Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC), an apex youth wing of Ohanaeze Ndigbo has rejected calls restricting the 2023 presidential ambition to only the Igbo within the enclave of the Southeast geopolitical zone, saying Igbo people live outside the boundaries of South East.
The council made this known Thursday, March 4, 2021 after its stakeholders’ meeting.
Speaking with newsmen after the meeting, the national president of the council, Comrade Igboayaka O. Igboayaka noted that it was the turn of Ndigbo to aspire and become the number one citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He, however, stressed that those talking about limiting the collective aspiration of Ndigbo to only include the Southeast lack common sense of history and are agents of divide and rule against the Igbo unity.
He stated that Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC) are new generation of Igbo extraction that have discovered that artificial state creation and geopolitical zones in Nigeria has caused greater harm than good to the Igbo race and the unity they desire.
Igboayaka noted that states and geo-political zone creations are concepts designed to balkanise of the Igbo nation, adding that Igbos are originally occupying 13 states in the South-South, Southeast and North Central Nigeria. He decried the harm emanated from state creation against Ndigbo, recalling that in 1976, state creation divided Ndoki people into three wherein two communities were ceded to Rivers state and one to Abia state while another community was ceded to Akwa Ibom.
“Today, the culture and brotherhood of great Ndoki clan have been balkanised, but Ohanaeze Youth Council will not stand by and allow this conspiracy to continue. “We must earnestly unify the Igbo race for economic and political advancement. Therefore, anybody from Abia, Rivers and Akwa Ibom have the equal right to vie for the president of Nigeria in 2023,” Igboayaka stated.
The youth leader revealed that Umuine Igbodo in Etche LGA of Rivers State and Umuezeala, Okpala of Ngor Okpala in Imo state are of the same ancestral fathers, but today Umuine Igbodo is located in South-South while Okpala is in Southeast, stressing that Igbos in the South-South, Southeast and North Central shall have the support of Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC) to vie for Nigeria’s presidency in 2023.
“All the communities of Igbo Land, Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Enugu, Edo, Delta, Cross River, Kogi, Imo, Rivers and Benue are qualified for Nigeria President of Igbo extraction in 2023,” Comrade Igboayaka added.
Comrade Igboayaka appealed to all patriotic and progressive Igbo men and women with sense of history to embrace Igbo unification to actualise Nigeria’s president of Igbo extraction come 2023, by adopting the Igbo concept of “Igwe Bu Ike”and “Onye Aghala Nwanne Ya”.