A former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has urged the South-East region to present a good reason the nation should have an Igbo man as the next President in 2023.
He was speaking on Monday in Abuja at the “Conversation with Owelle Rochas Okorocha at 59 and Award of Icon of Service and Philanthropy”, organised by the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), FCT chapter.
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The southern governors are rooting for a president from the south in 2023 but Okorocha said though it is fair that the nation’s presidency should be zoned to the South in 2023, it is not formally written anywhere.
He said he supports the position of southern governors that the country should be led by a Nigerian from the South in 2023.
“I support the Southern governors on the issue of zoning the presidency and the next region is the South.
“We started with South-West when President Olusegun Obasanjo (became the president). Then we went back to the North when we had (Umaru) Yar’Adua.
“South again with Goodluck Jonathan, and now the North is having it with the incumbent President (Muhammadu Buhari).
“So, why would it be changed when it is the turn of the South again? It is a fair thing to do.
“If this is not done, then APC (All Progressives Congress) becomes a Northern party,” he said.
‘How I handled IPOB’
Okorocha explained how he related with the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) when he was a governor for eight years.
He said that he could have asked the security operatives to shoot at them, but he instead listened and understood their grievances.
“When IPOB started, they came to Imo State when I was the governor, but I listened to them and understood their grievances.
“They asked me to join them and I told them if they can convince me to have another (Biafra country) passport, I will join.
“I could have asked my men to shoot them as they were killed in Okigwe and other states, but no. I had to listen to know what they were going through.
“That is how the Nigerian government should treat the youths, sympathise with them. Treat them well,” Okorocha said.