2023: Igbo Presidency Not Realistic without North – Okorocha

A former governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha saturday said that Igbo presidency was not possible without support of the north, saying Igbo alone could not make themselves the President of Nigeria in 2023.

Okorocha, currently representing Imo West Senatorial District, however warned that ethnicity and religion should not be a factor in politics in the country, noting that poverty “does not know any religion or ethnicity.”

He made the remarks at a session with journalists yesterday in Abuja, where he expressed concern about the future of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) if the stakeholders failed to reorganise the party.

At the session, the senator said the Igbo nation alone had no power to make itself the President of Nigeria in 2023, insisting that ethnicity or religion should be no basis in politics as poverty knows no tribe or religion.

While admitting that the north has the population to determine whoever emerges as president of the country, Okorocha stressed that there should be collective interest in moving the country forward rather than sentiments.

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The lawmaker explained that he believed that power should be given “to anyone that has the vision irrespective of where he comes from because tribe cannot put food at the table of common man or guarantee security.”

Categorically, Okorocha said other regions needed the support of the north if powers must shift, saying what Nigeria needed “is a man who will emerge as the president and continue with unity of Nigeria; create jobs and guarantee security.

“As you see the politics of today, everybody looks up to the north because it has the large chunk of vote to determine who becomes the President of Nigeria.

“One good thing I know of the north, especially the Islamic world, is that a good Muslim is a man of conscience who believes in equity, justice and unity.”

On APC’s internal crisis, Okorocha warned that the APC might go the way of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 if the party was not re-organised structurally.

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According to him, no party ever survives with crisis, while admitting that the governing party has been riddled with crisis for quite some time now.

He stated: “I have on several occasions expressed my fears about APC and what happens to APC after the exit of Buhari. My fear is not far-fetched, Mr. President has made an appeal to the party leadership which is what we ought to do.

“But I think the party requires some structural redesign to be able to carry the party across 2023. When we run party on basis of sentiments, then we are going to still have problem that PDP had in the time past.

“For God sake, if somebody is not doing a proper job, he should be shown the way out so that others who can do the job can take over. We have more than 100 million people in this country. You can find who can do a particular job. But when we build ourselves with sentiments, then we are going to have a lot of challenges.

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“No party ever survives with crisis and on daily basis you hear APC with crisis here and there. Anytime a football team is not doing well, don’t blame the players.

“You should blame the coach. If the coach needs to be fired for things to get better, fire the coach and get a new coach to train the people to win their match.

“Appeal of Mr. President is okay. But more has to be done in terms of reorganising the entire party. A party that does not respect its organs of the party is bound to fail. APC does not have Board of Trustees (BoT) meetings.

“APC does not have National Executive Council (NEC) meetings. APC does not have the organs of the party functioning. APC does not even have the committees working. So, that is not a party,” the lawmaker said.

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