The leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South-east zone on Sunday expressed worries over the ongoing mass protest by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and other groups across the states in the zone, lamenting that if nothing is quickly done, it could ultimately affect the possible emergence of a Nigeria President of Igbo extraction by 2023.
In a statement by the spokesman of South-east APC leadership caucus, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, the party appealed to the protesting groups who are demanding the immediate and unconditional release of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, to stop the war drums in the overall interest of the Igbo nation.
APC said: “Whereas we agree that there is gross unemployment, discontent and despondency among youths in the land, however, it is not peculiar to the South-east alone. The gross unemployment is nationwide and would be addressed holistically, luckily our son, Senator Chris Ngige, is the minister in charge of employment.”
Okechukwu appealed to the pro-Biafra agitators to stop their mass action and drums of war in the overall interest of the Ndigbo at home, across the country and abroad.
“As our record shows, it’s better to jaw-jaw than to war-war. Dialogue is the best solution, albeit we are doing relatively well across the country and our human development index is one of the highest.
According to the APC, Ndigbo must be strategic in its agitation, as every evidence suggests that it would be one of the greatest beneficiaries of the progressive and prosperous Nigeria being constructed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We cannot act like the rodent inside the deep hole for years, only to revolt when it was about to be freed. This is not the best of times to hype and escalate the agitation for Biafra, because President Buhari has pledged to resuscitate the dilapidated federal roads in the South-east, revamp Enugu Coal, fix the second Niger Bridge and other physical infrastructure.
“For Mr. President his word is his bond. Critical analysis posits that after his second tenure, it will be the turn of the South-east to produce Nigeria president.
“Is it not paradoxical that the pro-Biafra agitators were not this hyper-active in the 16 years when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a party Ndigbo gave unprecedented and overwhelming support, without commensurate reward, was in power at the centre?
“Does it mean that the promoters didn’t see anything wrong when former president, Dr. Goodluck Jonatlhan, our adopted son, allowed federal roads in the South-east to unimaginable decay, couldn’t award the second Niger Bridge on contract bases like Owete Bridge and couldn’t revamp Enugu Coal?’
“Available evidence shows that the promoters of the mass action are suspects, as they neither sampled the views of the majority of Ndigbo at home or in Dutse – Jigawa, in Akure – Ondo, in Oron – Akwa Ibom nor Ndigbo in Lagos, Kano and Abuja,” Okechukwu said.
When asked what made him think Ndigbo would produce president in 2023, Okechukwu quipped: “Going by the zoning convention, equity and natural justice, surely the president will rotate to the south in 2023.”
He remarked that every rational indicator favours Ndigbo and so, “we need to guide our hate propaganda and wait patiently to harvest the turn of the South-east. To be frank this is the golden opportunity for us to join the mainstream, and it should not be scuttled by pro-Biafra agitators”.
On whether the APC would honour zoning convention when it is not in its constitution, Okechukwu said in liberal democracy, there is the law and there is the convention, but convention more often prevails than the law, because of its moral weight.