While condemning the call for Igbo Presidency from the South-East region, Emma Ibediro said only a zone that has worked within party lines to convince other regions can actualize their dream of ruling Nigeria.
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“In 2015, only 198,000 votes came in from the entire south-east. In 2019, we had a little above 400,000,” he told The Nation. “Some people will say that it is an improvement. What type of improvement is that? You can imagine Anambra state, for example, bringing in less than 50,000 votes when our members in that state are over 200,000.
“What it means is that even APC members did not vote for our President. Igbo presidency is not a right, just like Hausa presidency is not a right and Yoruba presidency is not a right. Igbo presidency can only become possible if you work within the party and convince the rest of Nigerians to produce a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction.
“For instance, in the APC, you have to work within the party and with every other member of the party, either from North-west, North-east or from Northcentral or the Southwest and then we must come to the conclusion that as an individual, you can have the confidence of Nigerians to become their president.
“The fact that you are from South-east of from any other area is neither here or there. So, if the people from the South-east are aspiring to become Nigeria’s president, I think the first thing to do is to work within the party and then get the rest of Nigerians to accept them for that position. So, I believe that it is not a right. That is what I would say.
“I don’t want to be emphatic that there must be an Igbo President because this party is not built on the platform of dictating to the people what they want. If you check the percentage of population of members of APC and check the population of Nigerians, you will see that all members of the party are even less than five per cent of the population and we are talking about a president that will be a president of Nigeria, not a president of APC.
“So, first of all, under whatever platform you want to achieve that aspiration, you have to work to get yourself acceptable to that platform. It is not going to be an automatic award that Nigerians should give South-east ticket for the president.
“What happens if the APC gives ticket automatically to somebody from the South-east and he doesn’t win the very election? Have you considered that? The south-east needs to play good politics, the politics of engagement, the politics of consultation, the politics of getting the other parts of Nigeria involved in their aspirations.
“But for now I don’t think we are playing good politics. It is a question of give and take, I’m an Igbo man and I need to be very objective. The President campaigned in all the five states of the South-east, just like he campaigned in every other states. But what was the return in terms of votes?
“You also need to encourage people to do something for you. You cannot at every point be asking for something without giving something back.”