A Pan-Ohanaeze Ndigbo socio-political organization, Conference of Igbo Professionals Worldwide, (COIPOW), said it has commenced an intensive campaign with series of meeting and lobbying, to enable the South-East region produce the next president in 2023.
This is even as the group lamented that the formation of a security outfit by the Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, would thwart the plan as most leaders from other zones would perceive it in a bad light and withdraw their support.
COIPOW’s National President, Prof. Patrick Kalu and National Secretary, Dr Uche Mbaka, in a statement on Wednesday, described the Security Network as Illegal, and appealed to the people of the region not to take Kanu and his security structure seriously.
Prof Kalu said: “We wish to express our profound appreciation to the key Igbo leaders that attended our just concluded emergency meeting held in Akwa, Anambra State, where we deliberated and agreed on pushing for Igbo presidency come 2023.
“This is the sure way to go and not the way the acclaimed leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB) Mazi Nnamdi Kanu wants through the barrel of the gun. The gunpoint approach by Mr Kanu is certainly not the way-out and he must be told so loud and clear.
“Igbo people deserve the Presidency this time around. They have all it takes to produce the next president of Nigeria and that is what we should be pushing for now with one strong voice in unity and sincerity of purpose.
“We cannot be demanding for president of Nigeria on one hand and on the other hand, supporting IPOB which is being fraudulently financed by Kanu and his agents to destabilize a united Nigeria through cessation and a parallel security organization.
“Nobody will take us serious if we do not take urgent steps to set the record straight by out rightly denouncing the inglorious activities of IPOB and its sponsors and founder, Nnamdi Kanu.
“It is on this premise that we strongly condemn the proscribed IPOB leader Mazi Nnamdi for forming the so called Eastern Security Network in some parts of the East.”
He added that, “Forming this militia group at this critical time when we should be seen as peaceful and law abiding people that we are, is indeed not the best.
“It must be known that IPOB and the so called Eastern Security Network do not have our blessings and will never do.
“We particularly call on the governors of the South East states and the Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide to rise up not only to condemn but also stop this brazing act of criminality which may have grave consequence on the entire Igbo nation if nothing is done urgently.
“These IPOB members carry out their nefarious activities because of their selfish gains and interests and not that of Ndigbo Nation as they want to make us believe.
They are being manipulated by Nnamdi Kanu who is being bankrolled by his local and international sponsors.
“We are aware that they carted away several weapons and ammunition from the police stations they looted during the #ENDSARS# protests; particularly in Obigbo in River State.
“They will further worsen the security situation in the South East with their so called outfit. They should not be tolerated by the state governments and people of the South East.
“We are also aware that some enemies of Nigeria and powerful politicians who are also interested in the politics of 2023 may be sponsoring Nnamdi Kanu to put the Igbo people in bad light just to achieve their agenda of making the Igbo people disunited before Nigerians,” it alleged.
The statement added: “This is why the entire Ndigbo worldwide must resist this nonsense called the Eastern Security Network and its sponsors, because it’s a clear ploy to rob Ndigbo of another opportunity of the Presidency using our criminal son, Kanu.
“Cessation will not solve the problem of marginalization but restructuring, where every Nigerian will have equal stake in the country.
“We must know that the so called Eastern Security Network financiers are not out for our interest but theirs. If we don’t stop them, very soon, they will start robbery, kidnapping, rape, assassinations and other heinous crimes in our region.
“Hence we must be smart not to be cajoled by Nnamdi Kanu who lives abroad but collecting money to destabilise our country.
“We have too many investments in Nigeria to leave for anybody. We must remain in here and fight legally to take our rightful place in Nigeria.”
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