A senator belonging to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hope Uzodimma, has stated why he is supporting the re-election bid of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Uzodimma said his support for Mr. Buhari is because he is the only candidate who will not extend his tenure beyond 2023 if re-elected in 2019.
The lawmaker noted that re-electing the president gives the Igbos the opportunity to produce a president from their extraction hence his support for him.
“Buhari is the only northerner who will do another four years if re-elected. Well, since that is the case, my answer is, why not? If they say I am campaigning for Buhari, so be it. I don’t owe anyone any apology for that.
“After all, it is only logical that as an Igbo man who is clamouring for the presidency to come to the south-east in 2023, I should support the candidate who I am sure will not be standing for re-election in 2023.
“Why should I support another northern candidate who will want to do another eight years and make Ndigbo wait till 2027 before producing the president of Nigeria? Yes, apart from the fact that President Buhari is good enough for re-election, he is the only northern candidate who, if elected, must relinquish power in 2023 thereby paving the way for the south-east. So, yes, I support his re-election and I think every right thinking South Easterner should do the same,” he said.
When reminded in an interview with Sun Newspaper that his action could lead to being accused of anti-party activities, Uzodimma said he placed the interest of his people first before any other consideration.
Asked if he will join the All Progressive Congress (APC) to actualise the re-election of the president, the lawmaker said, “Well, I am not sure I must join APC to pursue the interest of my people. It is on record that political parties may adopt candidates outside their parties because it is in their best interest to do so. For instance, APGA did it for Jonathan and I see them doing same for President Buhari. So I don’t need to join APC to pursue the noble agenda which will favour Ndigbo. But you know, in politics you never say, never! So, let us see how it goes. Time can change everything, you know.”
On why there is need for an Igbo President in 2023, Uzodimma said, “You see, it is supremely important because that will assure Ndigbo that the ugly events of the civil war have been truly put behind us.
“If by 2023, the presidency returns to the south and by acts of omission or commission, it eludes Ndigbo, then that will only be a confirmation that Igbo have not truly been accepted into the mainstream of Nigerian politics.
“As you know, in 1998, former Vice-President, late Alex Ekwueme was coasting home with the PDP presidential ticket. It took a high level conspiracy to stop him. Many people believed that it was because he was Igbo and because of the stigma of the civil war. So, if in 2023 Igbo are stopped again, the simple conclusion will be that the rest of Nigeria do not welcome them as equal stakeholders in Project Nigeria.