OWERRI—PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari yesterday, said the political future of Igbo in Nigeria depends on his re-election in 2019.
Buhari stated this at the Southeast mega rally at Dan Anyiam Stadium in Imo State, organized by Governor Rochas Okorocha.
This is as notable Igbo leaders in APC in the South East region shunned Okorocha’s rally.
Former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu; serving ministers from the zone; serving senators from the zone; former senators, House of Representatives members from the zone were absent.
Also, the state Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, former speakers of the State House of Assembly, former commissioners under Okorocha and over 150 APC leaders in the state shunned the rally.
Buhari was represented by the Secretary to the Federal Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha.
He said: “The people of the South East are part of Nigeria and they have the right to make claim where the need arises and we will all support them.
“The Igbo are not good starters. But whenever they start, they can catch it. Let me say this, 2019 is an election that will make or mar the chances of Igbo in Nigeria. I want Igbo to make a paradigm shift.
“We have to know that the position of the presidency is negotiable. You can argue it from the point of strength and not from the point of weakness. 2019 will determine the future of this country. Let me say this, there are 18 Christians and 18 Muslims in Buhari’s cabinet. Even the Vice President is a Christian. I see a whole lot of people coming out to be president. Let me tell them Nigeria is not a Banana republic.”
In his remark, the national chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole, said: “In politics, what you see is what you believe. I am impressed with the crowd that I have seen here. It is a sign that the Igbo people love Buhari.
“We are tired of PDP deceiving the people. What they could not do in 16 years, they want us to do it in 3 years. How many times did they invite the Igbo to the ground- breaking ceremony of the second Niger Bridge?
“Many have spoken on the enormous projects of the Federal Government in this part of the country, but it is not yet over. More are cooking.”
Speaking also, the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha said: “Let me start by saying that Igbo people love Buhari and the president should know that Igbo people love him.
“I am happy for our new brand National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole. I describe him as the silencer of PDP. Adams Oshiomhole is a hope of APC and we look up to him to give us the best.
“We are one in South East. We are celebrating the leadership of President Buhari. People have argued that we made a mistake.It is just that in 2015, Igbo did not believe in Buhari but in 2018, Igbo now believe in Buhari.”
Also speaking at the rally, former governor of Bornu State, Modu Sherriff, said: “Okorocha is the man of the people. There is no part of this country Okorocha has not received a title. I am very happy with what I have seen today. It means that Okorocha is in charge. We believe that in 2019, the Igbo will give Buhari five million votes.”
Former governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva, said: “From the South South part of the country, we will give Buhari 80 per cent of our votes.”