The Director-General of Voice of Nigeria, Mr Osita Okechukwu, on Monday said Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo’s comment that a victory for President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 presidential election would guarantee the South-West the 2023 presidency was a “wake-up call” to the South-East.
Osinbajo made the comment while on a house-to-house campaign in Oyo town, where he held a 45-minute closed-door meeting with the Alaafin, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi.
Before now, it was believed that the South-East would have the opportunity to produce the president in 2023, although the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, had at a rally in Owerri, Imo State, said the development would depend on Igbo support for Buhari in 2019.
Osinbajo’s comment was faulted by groups, including the pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, and the apex socio-political body of the Igbo, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, as well as the Peoples Democratic Party.
However, reacting to the development in a statement on Monday, Okechukwu said Ndigbo should see the VP’s comments as a wake-up call.
Okechukwu said, “The Vice-President’s call for Yoruba to vote for President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 so as to have a shot at the Presidency in 2023 is constitutional and mostly importantly a wake-up call to Ndigbo.
“A wake-up call to Ndigbo in the true sense of the word that equity, natural justice and good conscience are the advantages on our side – for the South-East is the only geopolitical zone in the southern belt that has not presided over Nigeria since 1999, when the rotation of President convention took off.
“We appeal to Ndigbo to hearken to this clarion call as all we need is to vote for President Buhari so as to reinforce the equity, natural justice and good conscience which is on our side.
“Our vote for Buhari will engender the support of his mass followers in the North, for Buhari has a vote-bank of 10 to 12 million voters, which is a big arsenal.”
The All Progressives Congress chief added, “On the issue of four years, Buhari’s remaining four years post 2019 is cast in constitutional stone, while Atiku Abubakar’s own is at best a pledge.
“Atiku’s manifesto is six- year plan.
“Therefore, Buhari’s option is the quickest and surest route to a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction.”