By Dennis Agbo
ENUGU—Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Igbo World Assembly, IWA, and other Igbo socio-cultural organisations have demanded that a well packaged presidential debate be held to enable Nigerians make informed choice on who to vote for in the 2019 presidential election.
Nnia Nwodo, President-General of Ohanaeze
Ndigbo were also unanimous in demanding that Nigeria goes back to the first republic constitution that gave all regions of the country windows of equality, competitiveness and fairness for a rekindled spirit of one Nigeria.
The Igbo groups shared their similar ideologies during the business conference of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in the Diaspora represented by Igbo World Assembly, IWA, in Enugu, yesterday.
While Ohanaeze Ndigbo is the apex socio-cultural orgainsation of Ndigbo, IWA is made up of members of the organization in the Diaspora with membership in 37 countries.
Chairman of IWA, Chief Nwachukwu Anakwenze, said the group would mobilise Ndigbo and other Nigerians for the 2019 elections but that its support for any political party would be based on the position of such party on restructuring, presidential debate and rule of law.
Anakwenze said, “We are happy that the ball is set for another election and among other things, we demand a debate by the presidential candidates to enable the electorate make informed choices.
“One of our goals is to regenerate the relationship with our brothers and sisters from the South South region and work for the sustained security in our region. We are resolute in making peace and combating the adversaries that have plagued us. We do not believe in promoting ethnicity but in a system where all sections are treated equally.”
President General of Ohanaeze, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who presented the keynote address, stressed that the position of Ohanaeze had been that Nigerians were better together and that considering the investments Ndigbo have made in the country, they would have a better deal in an equitable Nigeria.
He advised the people of the South East to take advantage of the 2019 general elections to support a government that would change the narrative in the country.
Nwodo said the yearning of majority of Nigerians was to institute a system of government that would re-engineer the economy akin to what obtained in the first republic, suggesting that the only way to achieve that was to restructure the system of governance.
“Four zones out of the six in the country have set the agenda for restructuring. I appeal to our people to go out and vote during the election because your warfare is your vote,” he pleaded.
Nwodo said that he looked forward to a time when the children of highly placed politicians in the country would share the same classrooms with less privileged Nigerians as was the case in the first republic.