IGBO PRESIDENCY.......When will it Happen, Any structures on Ground?

IGBO PRESIDENCY IN 2023...Synopsis of opinion in the Press


There is a plethora of opinion in Nigeria about the Igbo Presidency.  The matter is one of the major points of marginalization felt by the region and its people.

Eastern Nigeria is mainly Igbo, while the West is mostly Yoruba. The North is largely Hausa-Fulani. Politicians from the three main regions met before independence and agreed to form a united Nigeria. 

Given the contribution of the Ibos during the independence struggle of Nigeria and the support they have given the Hausa and Yoruba ethnic candidates to the presidency, the Ibos believe it is their turn to assume the Presidency of Nigeria.

However, the problem with the Igbo presidency has always been the ability of the politicians from the East to speak with one voice, as compared to the two other regions.  In 2007, when the agitation was high, all the South Eastern Governors were interested, thereby splitting the region's opinion into segments.

Another hard truth is that power is not given, you have to contend for power and win.  Do the Igbos have the structure to deliver such a mandate?  Can the Ibos galvanize their compatriots all over Nigeria to come out and vote? and can they forge a credible political alliance that will deliver on the project?  These questions will have to be answered in the affirmative if the project will succeed.  

The Ibo nation will have to mobilize their people, who are currently in a state of disconnect with respect to politics in Nigeria due to the feeling of marginalization to come alive politically.  Marginalization or no marginalization, they have an ambition, which requires the total mobilization of the Ibos everywhere in Nigerian and beyond to realize.  They will have to register and come out to vote, both in the East and all the places where they live and do business in Nigeria.  

Another problem is their low representation in APC at the moment.  That explains why the Ohanaeze has advised the Eastern Governors, and other notable politicians from the East to find their ways into the APC.  Meanwhile, experienced politicians foresee trouble in APC after 2023.  According to them, Buhari is the uniting factor in APC, who, also balances the power equation in the party with Tinubu.  But, when the President retires and returns to Daura, the battle for supremacy in APC is better imagined.

We present some of the comments and opinion of Nigerian politicians and leaders on the Igbo Presidency.  This is a synopsis, as the reports are summarized to highlight salient points.  Here is the arrangement: 

1. Onovo Hails Obasanjo, IBB’s Support for Igbo Presidency
2. APC has no plan for Igbo Presidency - Olusegun Obasanjo
3. Enugu APC rejects Obasanjo’s call for an Igbo President in 2019
4. Buhari in support of 2023 Igbo presidency - APC chieftain
5. Okorocha: Igbo presidency doesn't exist... we're nowhere politically
6. IBB to Igbos - Nigeria can't afford a break
7. Presidency - South-East seems to be drawing concerns of stakeholders.
8. Ohanaeze urges S/east governors to join APC to actualise Igbo presidency in 2023.
9. 2023 Presidency: Igbo groups plot alliances with West, North
10. Igbo presidency in 2023 will facilitate restructuring - Okorie


1. Onovo Hails Obasanjo, IBB’s Support for Igbo Presidency: The 2015 Presidential candidate of the National Conscience Party (NCP), Chief Martin Onovo, has commended ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s call for Igbo Presidency in 2019.

Onovo, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos, also commended former Head of State, retired Gen. Ibrahim Babangida for his declaration of support for such call.

“Obj is the most experienced and leader of all politicians across all parties in Nigeria today. He knows a lot more from the experience than many of us.  “Rotational presidency is a Nigerian phenomenon and it is particularly Nigerian.

“There is no state in Nigeria, local government or community where rotation is not going on and power not being rotated. So this is the right thing for Nigeria and Obj is clearly right.

“Also, IBB is also agreeing with that, that he would support Igbos. So, it is very clear that this is the right thing to do and this is what we should do,” Onovo said - Metrowatchonline 

2. APC has no plan for Igbo Presidency - Olusegun Obasanjo:  Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Saturday asked the Igbo to be wary of promises from the All Progressives Congress ahead of next year’s general elections.

Obasanjo, who spoke at a stakeholders’ meeting at Ukpor in the Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State, said the APC had no plans to hand over the presidency of the country to the Igbo.  He urged the Igbo to take their destiny in their hands by getting united in the 2019 general elections and make a mark.

He said, “I urge you the Igbo not to allow anybody to relegate you to the background because you occupy a place of preeminence in this country.  “The Igbo must bury their differences and work together for the actualisation of the Atiku/Obi project in their best interest. It’s dangerous to take the APC government seriously.” Punch December 30, 2018

3. Enugu APC rejects Obasanjo’s call for an Igbo President in 2019: The Enugu State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress on Sunday rejected former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s suggestion that the South-East should produce the country’s President in 2019.

Speaking when the leadership of the Ogun State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria paid him a courtesy visit, Obasanjo had said the South-East should have a shot at the Presidency in 2019.  “Irrespective of the thinking of the people ahead of 2019, I personally think that South-East should have a go at the Presidency too,” the former President had said.

But the APC in Enugu State has rejected Obasanjo’s suggestion.  The Publicity Secretary of the party in Enugu State, Mrs Kate Offor, who spoke to journalists while welcoming former Senate President, Chief Ken Nnamani, and other new entrants in the South-East to the APC, said Igbos would wait for President Muhammadu Buhari to complete two terms of four years before having a shot at the Presidency.

Offor said there was no need for the South-East to move for the office in 2019, when it was already the turn of the zone to produce the President in 2023, going by the zoning arrangement.

4. Buhari in support of 2023 Igbo presidency - APC chieftain: Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari waves at the crowd while he drives around the venue during his inauguration for a second term in Abuja, Nigeria. 

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari waves at the crowd while he drives around the venue during his inauguration for a second term in Abuja, Nigeria, May 29, 2019.

General Joseph Okonkwo Okoloagu said the president is open to an Igbo presidency.  The APC chieftain said Igbos have to play their politics right.  Okoloagu said he would love to see an Igbo presidency in his lifetime.  General Joseph Okonkwo Okoloagu (ret.) who is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that President Muhammadu Buhari is open to the possibility of an Igbo presidency in 2023.

Okoloagu said for the Igbos to get a possible shot at the presidency in 2023, they need to do away with ethnic politics.  He said: “I have looked at it politically, maturely, militarily and what have you, it’s very doubtful but democracy is a game of numbers. You don’t do ethnic politics like the Yoruba have done, the Hausa have done -Thomson Reuters  09/06/2019

5. Igbo presidency doesn't exist... we're nowhere politically: Okorocha says Nigeria needs a President that can put food on the table of the common man.  President Muhammadu Buhari with former Governor Rochas Okorocha and other APC chieftains during a campaign tour.

President Muhammadu Buhari with former Governor Rochas Okorocha and other APC chieftains during a campaign tour. Former Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha, says the term 'Igbo presidency' does not exist.

Prior to the 2019 presidential election, secretary to the government of the federation, Boss Mustapha, said the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) would support the South-East to produce the next president in 2023 if the region votes for Muhammadu Buhari.  Similarly, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, at a political rally in Owerri, said President Buhari would hand over to a Southeasterner upon completion of his second term in office in 2023.

But, addressing journalists at the National Assembly after his swearing-in on Thursday, June 13, 2019, Okorocha says what's most important is electing a president who can put food on the table of the common man.  

He advised the Igbos to wrestle power, which according to him, is not given.  "Power is not given, power is taken," Okorocha began. "The South East cannot just fold their arms and expect power to be given to them just because you want power.

"Power does not go with sentiment some of the times, it’s on issues on the ground. Democracy is about the people and the South East alone cannot make themselves president.  "So you cannot be talking about Igbo presidency, it doesn’t exist. We may be talking about Nigeria’s president of Igbo extraction but that depends on what other geo-political zones think about the issue - Pulse  06/13/2019

6. IBB to Igbos - Nigeria can't afford a break: The former president made the plea on Saturday, September 21, when the Igbo Delegates Assembly (IDA) from the 19 northern states and Abuja visited him for his recent 78th birthday.

IBB said the Igbo's tenacity in business enterprises spans the length and breadth of the country and beyond.  According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the IDA delegation was led by its president, Chief Chikezie Okezie and the Eze Igbo of Minna, Eze Pampas Wahiwe.

He, however, warned that Nigeria must remain an indivisible entity regardless of ethnic, religious or political differences.  He appreciated the Igbos for being very enterprising and determined to succeed by penetrating the nooks and crannies of the country for business exploits.

“You should use the same spirit of enterprise to promote peaceful co-existence among Nigerians, in all that you are doing.  “You have done well to keep Nigeria together. The Igbos are known to have the potentials of travelling far and wide, exploring new frontiers and business opportunities,” he said. NAN - September 2019.

7. Presidency-South-East drawing concerns of stakeholders:  Ahead of the 2023 election, the quest for a president from the South-East seems to be drawing concerns of stakeholders across the country.

The 2023 election is clearly more than three years away, but the campaign for a president of South-East extraction is already generating controversy.

Over the years, the political class has maintained an unwritten culture of rotating power between the North and the South. Such a situation had always arisen from the fallout of power play within the ruling party and major opposition(s) with the active support of the sitting President.

But in his views, a former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, said that the presidency of Nigeria is dependent on the mood of the nation.  Ekweremadu, in an interview on Channels Television’s Roadmap 2019, said no one part of Nigeria can decide to take the presidency and succeed in grabbing it.

Also, the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo, in another interview warned that anybody plotting to deny the Igbo the slot would be throwing the country into chaos.  Nwodo asked all political parties in the country to look in the direction of the South-East while shopping for presidential candidates in the next general election.

But a former President of the Senate, Adolphus Wabara, said it would take a miracle for the country to produce a President of Igbo extraction, adding that the Igbo has been systematically confined to certain political limits in the country.  Thinking in the line of Wabara, a former National Auditor of the PDP, Chief Ray Nnaji, said the South-East would not be ripe for the Presidency come 2023, adding that no structure in the region could deliver such a candidate.

“It is against good conscience for anybody from the South-West and the South-South to attempt to contest the presidency in 2023.  Also, a former governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, said any attempt to deny the Igbo people the presidency in 2023 would amount to injustice.

“It is imperative for it to go to the South-East for national unity peace and progress and because we want to have national unity and peace we have to give every major section of the country a sense of belonging. At the moment, there are four basic sections- North, South-West, South-East, and South-South - Punch 07, 2019

8. 2023 Presidency: Igbo groups plot alliances with West, North:  As part of preliminary preparations to produce Nigeria’s president in 2023, some concerned Igbo leaders are believed to be behind new groups currently seeking alliances with groups in the Southwest and the Northern parts of Nigeria.

This is even as elder statesman, Col. Lambert Ihenacho (rtd), founder of Igbo Youth Movement (IYM), Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko and the leadership of the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), among other leaders and groups in the Southeast zone told The Nation yesterday that Ndigbo expect other Nigerians to support them to produce Nigeria’s president in 2023 - The Nation Nov 10.2019

9. Ohanaeze urges S/east Governors to join APC: The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council has urged governors in the South-Eastern region to defect to the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) to actualise the region’s dream of producing a president in 2023.

The group while disowning the move by an APC member in Ebonyi state, Charles Enya to get President Muhammadu Buhari another term in office said the ruling party holds the key for the future of the Igbo people in 2023.

“As it stands now with support from Middle belt youths and Niger Delta youths leaders championing the zoning of the presidency to South-East in 2023, the coast is clear for any Igbo to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.”

On Igbo presidency in 2023, Okechukwu advised politicians and governors in the region to defect to the ruling party, saying he believed that president Buhari would support Igbo presidency in 2023 because he's a democrat.

“We still insist that Igbo politicians should massively defect to the APC to have a political balance in Igbo land, APC holds the key for the future of the Igbo people in 2023. We urge the governors of the old eastern region to see the handwriting on the wall and collapse PDP in the region - Daily Times 

11. Igbo presidency in 2023 will facilitate the restructuring: National Chairman of the United Progressives Party (UPP), Chief Chekwa Okorie told LAWRENCE NJOKU that granting Igbo President in 2023 would fast-track restructuring of the country.

The campaign is getting very serious, and I want our people to know that this is our best opportunity. There is almost a national consensus that it is Igbo’s turn to produce the next President. Interestingly, people who are not of Igbo political leadership are the ones who appear to be championing the cause for our people. So, we cannot afford not to show seriousness in the way we engage others and the way we redefine our political strategy to be more pragmatic and proactive in actualising it.

Certain Igbos, including the political leaders, still feel it is not yet time for this…
It is very unfortunate really when some people believe that they, because of individual interest, are not qualified to gun for certain offices. They now begin to make it look as if that is Igbo’s position. I don’t want to join issues with the people you mentioned.

The truth remains that the likes of Edwin Clark, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Gen Ishola Williams and Sen. Emmanuel Buwacha from Taraba, who are non-Igbo people have said it is our turn. And if an Igbo man would wake up and say, no it is not our time; I begin to wonder where the person is coming from.

In 2015, as soon as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lost the election, within a couple of months, the PDP committee, led by our former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, proposed that the party’s 2019 presidential candidate should come from the North, and that was the position they took and maintained till the election.  - Guardian 13 October 2019.


Politics is a game of number and mobilization.  It is one game that is played in Nigeria with a lot of negotiation.  Rotational Presidency is a negotiated arrangement.   The Ibos must come together and raise two credible candidates and have Plan A and B, as to the political platform to support APC or PDP.

What we need urgently is a Servant Leader, who will be accountable to Nigerians, and ready to provide exemplary leadership, irrespective of the region he comes from.  Politicians are politicians, as soon as they get to power, they forget the electorates.

Finally, irrespective of who becomes the President of Nigeria in 2023, the rise of the Nigerian Nation that started in 2019 will continue without interruption as God has taken over the reign of this nation.  Every good prophecy on Nigeria have started to manifest and the Spirit of the Lord will bring them to pass. 

Let us continue to pray for our leaders, irrespective of their party affiliation, and watch how God will use anyone elected into that position to advance Nigeria.  I gave this prophecy last year and it is ongoing.  Glory to God.


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