Igbo people from the South-East have thrown their weight behind the anticipated reelection bid of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
They said that re-electing the president was the only way to reciprocate his love for Igbos.
To this end, the people have set up a platform called “Ndigbo for PMB 2019”, to mobilize the rest of the people for the task ahead.
Speaking to Journalists Wedneday, the National Coordinator of the group and chieftain of All Progressives Congress, APC in Abia State, Prince Paul Ikonne said that the time had come for the south east people to re-launch themselves in the national politics.
He said that the people had a political miscalculation in the last general election in 2015 and have decided to right the wrongs of the past.
He said: “Some of our South east brothers and sisters did not do too well in the last general election especially in the presidential election. So, in 2019, the Igbos must be properly positioned and physically seen to be supporting the president of Nigeria in the person of Muhammadu Buhari.
“So, our mission is very simple: to bring Igbos together from wherever they are for them to throw their support for the reelection of president Buhari. That’s what we would be championing.
“As you can see, we don’t have any other group so far calling on Mr. President to run for a second term. But this group, Ndi Igbo for PMB, will kick start that project, the second term project of Mr. President so that Igbos will regain their rightful position in the Nigerian politics. It is our responsibility. So, this first meeting we are holding is to have our State Coordinators and national officers and then, map out our action plan having in mind that our principal responsibility is to mobilize Igbos in order to vote for the president in 2019.
“We will first of all ask him to run and in asking him to re-contest, we “ll assure him that Igbos will vote for him massively because if you look at him very well, the President believes in Igbos more than any other zone in this country considering his political calculation in previous year. The first ran he ever ran for president, he used an Igbo man as his running mate. The second and the third time, the same thing. There is no other way one can show love than showing that he trusts you.
“But it was very unfortunate that some of our people did see it coming, but thank God, we have a second chance to prove that we believe in this administration of Mr. President. One thing is clear, it is not a party affair, but an Igbo affair. So, irrespective of your party platform or affiliation, as long as you are an Igbo, you are part of this project. We are not doing a party thing. We are doing an Igbo thing. It is a platform for Igbos to come together, pledge their commitment, show it by action and them demonstrate in 2019 as it affects Mr. President.”
Also speaking, the Abia State Coordinator of the group and former Speaker of the State Assembly, Mr. Martins Azubuike also stated they would back on sensitization programmes to realize their objective.
He said that re-electing the President would end the marginalization of the Ndi Igbo.
“Looking at our position today as Ndigbo in the Nigerian polity and all the cries of our people, the question any good Igbo man will ask is what do we do for people to avoid this kind of cries: cries of maginalization, cries of hatred and all of them.
“And the answer is simple. It is for us to get back to where Nigeria is because when you are not in a place where things are distributed or shared or discussed and if the people there have not properly taken care of themselves, there is no way they will remember you that is outside. And I think that’s what this platform wants to do, to take the Igbo nation to where Nigeria is so that we can like others belong and get whatever is due to us from them”, he said.