By Oki Samson.
*Says Igbo presidency possible but…
The race for 2023 presidency has started. And several people within and outside the All Progressives Congress(APC) fold have touted the APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the man who the cap fits for the top job in Nigeria.
For Igbos in Lagos, the situation is no different as they square up to put their full weight behind the APC heavyweight politician if he expresses interest in the Aso rock office and reaches out to them. This is what the President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Lagos, Chief Solomon Ogbonna Aguene said in a recent interview with Oki Samson of Trek Africa Newspaper. About Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, he said: ‘If you say Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, I will say it is good. For someone that bring people from nothing to something, that is the person I call a leader.’
‘Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is a person who doesn’t like people to suffer or cry. Since his term as governor he has been changing the narrative for many. He even helped many Nigerians come back home from overseas to become established in Nigeria. I have been in Lagos since 1984 and I know many that we lived together in Maroko from very poor family who are now billionaires, some in business and some in government, these are the good works of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.’
‘More so, Tinubu has set a good example by giving us Gov. Sanwo-olu who Ndigbos have benefited from immensely. Even though, Ohanaeze is not political, we have leadership on all Igbos in Lagos. So all Igbo politicians have this Ohanaeze Ndigbo Secretariat to discuss their issues. And I want to disabuse the minds of Lagosians who says that, no matter what you do for Igbos, they will still follow PDP, this is total fallacy. Gov. Babajide Sanwo-olu has changed that narrative. Since I came into this office, to say that Igbos don’t vote APC will be a lie especially in Lagos where we have huge investment and large population.’
On the assertion made by a member of the Lagos House of Assembly, Hon. Jude Idimogu on Tinubu’s candidacy, the no. 1 Igbo in Lagos, Chief Solomon Ogbonna Aguene remarked that: ‘There is one music that we sing in Igboland that states ‘you give here, you giver there, peace holds.’ So what Jude Idimogu said may be based on his personal contact with Asiwaju Tinubu who is my role model as well. For me, I don’t have such information because he has never declared openly to anybody and I haven’t heard such from him. Bola Ahmed Tinubu has not contacted me as President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Lagos. I will always say to my people you cannot be an opposition to your host community or the ruling party of the community.’
When asked about zoning and the possibility of Igbos taking the office in 2023, Chief Solomon Ogbonna Aguene commented: ‘My personal opinion is that the presidency is a national affair. Mine is whoever will give Ndigbo the rightful position is the person that gets my support. Also whoever will help youths out of this unemployment and will take interest in bringing people out of poverty is the person that I will support.’
The Ohanaeze leader believe that Igbos are suitable for the top Nigerian job,
‘I am not a politician. If they zone it to Igbos, it is okay. Even if they don’t zone it, an Igbo man can still win but Igbos have to come together. We don’t have unity among ourselves. Igbos are capable. If they are capable of governing their states, why not? They have the money, the education and the intellect that qualifies them but unity is far away.’
‘Look at the Ohanaeze that I am running, if Gov. Sanwo-olu gives us one thing to share with the people, you will hear shouts that Sanwo-olu has given us 100 times of that thing. Ohanaeze doesn’t have allocation yet some people are doing faction. Some people have gone ahead to form a group called ‘Igbo stakeholders: 2023 non-negotiable’. You can’t say non-negotiable in a country like Nigeria, this reduces the chances of supports from other tribes for Ndigbo. This is what causes disunity and lack of progress.’ If you want such position you’re talking about, you must have a strategy, and ‘No warrior wins after selling his strategy before, going to war’.
No man has a first son before his biological father, ‘Ndigbos must be mindful of what is coming out of thier mouth’, he further stated.
‘Igbos should unite for them to achieve what they want. If we don’t come to the truth, we can’t move forward’, Chief Ogbonna concluded.