The Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr Osita Okechukwu has appealed to Ohaneze Ndigbo to work towards plucking the low hanging fruit; which is president of Nigeria of Igbo extraction in 2023, than chase elusive theorems.
Reacting to the Communiqué of the Ohaneze Restructuring Summit held at Awka, Anambra State, on Monday 21st May, Mr. Okechukwu while commending the organizers of the Summit called for pragmatism, if truly they are working for the collective interest of Ndigbo.
The VON DG, who reacted in a statement in Enugu on Tuesday, observed that the Summit neither addressed the issue of Igbo presidency in 2023 nor commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his efforts at revamping dilapidated infrastructure in the South-East geo-political zone.
He appealed to Ohaneze to stop squandering the golden opportunity of the South East to harvest the Zoning Convention between the North and South, by pontification and platitudes.
Dismissing the less than democratic 6 years tenure Ohaneze recommended, he said, “Methinks that pragmatism should be for Ohaneze to appeal to our people to work towards the low hanging fruit. One, the truism is that 4 years tenure renewable by peoples vote blends squarely into the fine tenets of democracy, which allows a referendum on the incumbent. In other words the 4 years incumbent is aware that he can be voted out and works hard to please the electorate; unlike the single 6 year tenure which entrenches corruption and do or die apocalypse.
“Secondly, the President of Nigeria of Igbo extraction in 2023 will assuage the lamentation of marginalisation and return Ndigbo into the mainstream.”
Asked what he means by low hanging fruit, Okechukwu quipped,”Am at a loss that in a Summit of such magnitude spiced with brilliant personalities like President General of Ohaneze, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, Professor C.C. Soludo et al, no mention was made of the golden opportunity open to Ndigbo to harvest from the Zoning Convention between the North and South.”
“The low hanging fruit is that equity and natural justice favours the South East more than any other geopolitical zone in the south to produce President of Nigeria in 2023. This is based on the fact that since our return to the 4th Republic in 1999 when the Zoning Convention commenced, the South West had 8 years (1999-2007) and South South 5 years plus(2010-2015). It’s our turn if we work hard and support President Buhari.”
“On the fine line in the Communiqué read by Professor Charles Soludo, which states that, “Ndigbo wants a Nigeria that works”, I sincerely page with Ohaneze because we are all praying for Nigeria that works, ” Okechukwu said.
According to him, it is the quest for Nigeria that works which made President Muhammadu Buhari to embark on the massive critical infrastructural development – Roads, Rails, Agriculture and Power (RRAP) Projects – construction of 5,000 kilometers of federal roads, 5,000 kilometers of standard gauge rail lines, additional 5,000 megawatts of electricity and self-sufficiency in food production.
He however regretted that there was no one sentence in the communiqué, commending Mr President for the construction of Enugu-Onitsha, Enugu-Port Harcourt, 2nd Niger Bridge and other dilapidated federal roads in the region, and gas pipeline, Enugu Coal and agriculture farms.
He said propaganda apart, Ndigbo would be one of the greatest beneficiaries of Buhari’s RRAP Projects and it will be the onerous duty of our son or daughter president in 2023 to consolidate Buhari’s RRAP Projects.
On the issue of regions, he said it was on record that we all support additional state in the South East and that Ebonyi and Enugu cherished their State structure and voted against region in the 1995 Abacha and 2014 Jonathan Constitutional Conferences.
“In sum, let’s be more pragmatic as the low hanging fruit is president of Nigeria of Igbo extraction come 2023. Let’s support Mr President and end lamentation and sulking over marginalization” he said.