President General of Ohanaeze-Ndigbo, John Nwodo, has said the next president should come from the South East in 2023 to promote national unity.
Nwodo, who made the call at a meeting with a Presidential delegation, led by Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, in Enugu yesterday, also urged the Federal Government to develop the South-East Development Commission and create room for at least two states in the South East.
The meeting was part of measures put in place by government to respond to the requests of youths made in the recent #EndSARS’ protests.
“To promote national unity, we urge that the next president of Nigeria should come from the South East of Nigeria,” he said.
At the meeting, governors, leaders, traditional rulers and other stakeholders in the South East appealed to the Federal Government to look into the demands of youths with the aim of solving them.
They urged President Muhammadu Buhari to consider the various demands of stakeholders of the region for its development, peace, and security.
“We, therefore, request the President to look into the demands of various groups and youths as presented today (yesterday), with a view to solving them.
“South-East people believe in one Nigeria and this is the reason we are in every part of this country building infrastructure and doing our businesses,” Chairman of South East Governors Forum, Dave Umahi, said.
Speaking on the outcome of the meeting, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, described the meeting as “extremely fruitful.”
“The meeting of the presidential delegation with South-East leaders was very useful,” Mohammed told newsmen yesterday in Enugu.
He said it was quite instructive that all the groups which took part in the meeting believed in the unity and oneness of the country, pointing out that they clearly spelt out this in their presentations.
“We listened clearly and carefully to all the positions and demands and we are going back to report directly to President Buhari,” the minister said.
Noting that the Federal Government had been spreading development and infrastructure to all parts of the country, simultaneously and equitably, Mohammed said: “We want the South-East people to be confident that the Federal Government is spreading development and infrastructure to all parts of the country equitably and will never marginalise any zone in the ongoing development and infrastructure agenda. This is what I want to assure Nigerians living in the South-East.’’
According to him, when the team gets back to Abuja, it will see what can be done immediately concerning some of the positions and demands made by the South-East leaders.
The presidential delegation met with South-East governors, statesmen, elders, religious and traditional leaders, as well as market women and youth leaders.
Apart from Mohammed and Gambari, other members of the delegation were the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammad Adamu; Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama.
Others are; Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Dr Uchenna Ogah, Minister of State for Education, Dr Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba and Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor.