Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Ameachi has said that Igbos should not demand presidency in 2023.
The minister in an interview with TheSun on Saturday, May 18, 2019, said the South-East region has nothing to bring to negotiate for presidency in 2023.
Asked about the chances of south-east producing a president in 2023, Amaechi said the Igbos cannot demand presidency because they rejected the ruling party in the 2019 presidential election.
He said, “I don’t know what they will do now for voting against the APC,”
“For refusing to support the APC, they cannot come to the table to demand the presidency slot.
“For people like us in the APC, if the Igbo had come and voted Buhari, they would boldly tell Mr President and the National Chairman of the party that presidency should go the Southeast since the South-south; South-west and North-west have produced president. What argument would the Southeast come up with now to convince anybody that they deserve the slot for 2023 president?”
The minister also said the Igbos are out of national politics adding that if they are not found in national politics, it will be to the detriment of their children.
“They are completely out of the national politics and it will pay them. If Igbo are not found in the national politics, it will be to the detriment of their children”.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo replies Amaechi
Meanwhile, the Igbo socio-political organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has replied Amaechi saying it’s not for the minister to make such a statement.
In an interview with Daily Post, Deputy National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chuks Ibegbu said Amaechi can’t decide the political future of the region because he’s not God.
Describing Amaechi’s remark as disgraceful, Ibegwu said the comment is an affront on the Igbos.
He said, “It’s very unfortunate that an Igbo man of that calibre could make such a statement in public, it’s very bad.
“There is no Yoruba or Hausa man that would say his people would not produce president for one reason or the other. Whether we voted for Buhari or not it’s not for Amaechi to make such statement.
“It’s a very big affront on the political dignity of the Igbo people. Let me tell you it’s not for Amaechi to tell Igbos where to learn politically.
“He can advise but it’s a tragedy for him to go to the public to make such a statement. If he is not happy with the way Igbos voted he should have kept it to himself or advised them quietly, I’m disappointed by that statement.
Citing opposition party’s victory in Oyo and Ondo state in the 2019 presidential election, Ibegwu said it is unexpected of Amaechi to attribute President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory in the election to Yoruba and Hausa votes.
“Besides, Rotimi Amaechi is not God to decide the political future of anybody including the Igbos, it’s a very disgraceful , unexpected of him and besides some Igbos voted for Buhari just like some Hausas and Yorubas did so there is no essential tribalising the political scenario. It’s not a tribal thing Atiku won in Oyo and Ondo States and almost won Lagos State so is it not Yorubas that voted for Atiku. In the North Atiku made a very strong presence so what will Amaechi say about the Yoruba and Hausas that voted for Atiku .
Ibegwu also cautioned Igbo elites who are fond of condemning their people publicly saying it is very disgraceful and unfortunate.
Since Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999, the South-East region has not produced a president.