The immediate past first lady, Patience Jonathan, has been shortlisted among other prominent Igbo politicians to run for president in 2019 by a coalition of Igbo groups.
The Igbo groups, which shortlisted the personalities, include; the World Igbo Youth Congress, Igbo Students’ Association and the South-East Women Professionals. The coalition said it shortlisted the following persons as presidential candidates of Igbo extraction:
1. Deputy Senate president, Chief Ike Ekweremadu,
2. Former Anambra governor, Peter Obi,
3. Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha,
4. Former Abia Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu,
5. immediate past first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan,
6. Air Comodore Ebitu Ukiwe, (rtd.),
7. Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika (rtd.),
8. Oby Ezekwesili
9. Prof. Pat Utomi,
10. Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu,
11. Senator Anyim Pius Anyim,
12. Senator Hope Uzodinma,
It said more persons will pass through screening by the Igbo Presidency Project Committee. The groups said they will align with the position of the Ohanaeze Youth Council Worldwide to begin an aggressive campaign for Igbo presidency, adding that funds will be mobilized across the world for their campaign.
They also declared that the Igbo leaders who recently had a meeting with acting president, Yemi Osinbajo do not represent Ndigbo in any form but their personal interests. The groups made the statement in a communiqué signed by Dr. Ugwu Francis, Deputy President General, WIYC, Comrade Francis Njoku and Glory Izuora, President and secretary, respectively of ISA, and Dr. Mrs. Nkem Nwuzor and Dr. Mrs. Helen Dike-Orji on behalf of the SWP.
The communiqué read in part: “We are outraged over the recent self-serving visit of some Igbo leaders to the Aso Villa Abuja. While we respect their right as Nigerians to visit any place of their choice, we are against the use of such trips for the pursuant of personal glory and goals. “We observed with dismay that rather than present basic issues affecting the Igbo nation, they merely went there singing songs of ‘Nigeria unity.’
“It is a common knowledge that Ndigbo are grossly marginalized in every sphere of the nation, including the position of presidency.
“These cries of marginalization have consistently fueled Biafra agitation and the only way to end these agitations is to demonstrate, not just in words, but in practical terms that Ndigbo are part owners of the Nigeria project. “Consequently, we declare that those hosted by Osinbajo did not represent Ndigbo in any form but their personal interests.
. THE AUTHORITY.