Some prominent personalities from the Southeastern Nigeria, under the aegis of Igbo Elders Consultative Forum (IECF), have threatened to sanction any Igbo politician who accepts to be running mate to anyone not from the region.
The Igbo elders said their geo-political zone must produce the next president of Nigeria.
There is an ongoing political tussle over which region should produce the next president of Nigeria in 2023, when Muhammadu Buhari, a Northerner, will be leaving office.
No southeasterner has been President of Nigeria since the fourth dispensation began in 1999.
The Chairman of the forum and former Governor of Anambra State, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, said the region would not accept anything other than to produce the next president of the country.
According to him, if that does not happen, Igbo people will quit the country.
He said: “Emboldened by the increasing demand and support by credible and patriotic Nigerians for power to shift to the South in 2023, the Igbo Elders Forum hereby encourages visionary, credible and creative presidential materials of South-East zone to declare their intension for Presidency and pursue it with every sense of seriousness, vigour and commitment.
“We are very serious about this directive. Do not mind those unserious bootlickers who are angling to be running mates to candidates from other parts of the country, as the Igbos will not take it lightly with any of our sons or daughters who accept to be running mates to any person outside the South-East zone in 2023.
“It is either we are allowed to produce the president of this country in 2023 to change the appalling narrative of continued decay, poverty, insecurity, poor governance, corruption and maladministration in Nigeria or out of it.
“No half measure, as serious sanctions will be visited on any Igbo man or woman that sabotages this noble and patriotic decision of our people to provide for Nigeria a credible, visionary and creative president.
“Legally, morally, and strategically, it is the turn of the South-East to produce the next president of the country as the other zones have been given the opportunity to serve this country in that capacity.”
According to Ezeife, apart from the need for equity, justice and fairness, it is also to change the narrative of Nigeria.
Some other Igbo elders present at the briefing were the former Minister of Education, Prof. S. C Madubuike; Secretary-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo (FCT chapter), Dr Nkonye Kingsley; His Royal Majesty, Igwe Ibe Nwosu.