Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Dialogue, not confrontation, will get Igbos 2023 president, says Peter Obi

We have a convincing case, but the Igbos need to convince other regions why it should be us.

• August 10, 2021
Peter Obi
Former Anambra State governor, Peter Obi (Photo Credit: Twitter)

Former governor of Anambra, Peter Obi, says the Igbo people of South-East Nigeria cannot produce the country’s next president through “confrontation” but by engaging with stakeholders in other regions across the country.

Mr Obi who ran as a vice presidential candidate to Atiku Abubakar in the 2019 election, made this statement while speaking on Arise TV on Monday. 

He said the South-East region has a valid argument to produce the next president, but it must be well articulated and convincingly presented to the rest of the country. 

“We need to convince the other people why it should be us. And you know we have a convincing argument for that. But it needs to be convincing. We are not going to hold a gun in their head and say you must come here,” Mr Obi said.

According to the former governor, “Politics is about engagement and consultation, and not confrontation. You consult and discuss with other people and say, ‘this is how we need to do it for us to have peaceful coexistence.’”

He further said the major political parties would determine which region produces the next president.

“The decision will be done within the party. It’s not a question of my view or anybody’s view; it’s that of the party,” he said.

“Because even if we say it should come to the south and the party zones it to the north, there’s nothing that can be done. Because these are major parties with a lot of members and stakeholders who will sit down and discuss at round tables,” Mr Obi said.

Mr Obi’s statement comes amidst intense agitation for secession from the South-East. In the past few months, the region has been rocked with violence as unknown gunmen continue to burn down police stations and other public facilities.

The South-East, a region dominated by Igbos, is among geopolitical zones that have not produced a Nigerian president since Nigeria returned to democratic rule in 1999.

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