National Chairman, United Progressive Party, Chief Chekwas Okorie, has urged Igbo of South-East to wake-up from their long political slumber and face reality of the time before 2023.
Okorie told newsmen in Enugu on Wednesday that for the Igbos to make any useful political impact in Nigeria’s politics in 2023, they must wake up from their long political slumber.
The chairman noted that Ndigbo must begin now to make good use of their wide range of networks and contacts all over the nation before 2023, adding “Early to bed is early to rise”.
He said if only Ndigbo could maximise their numerical strength in every part of Nigeria and evolve the necessary political consciousness before 2023, they would definitely change the nation’s political power equation in a more positive manner.
Okorie, who endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election with UPP, said: `If Ndigbo have their political consciousness reawakened, they will have a National Assembly with more Igbo friendly people than what they have now.
He added: “And then if you build the necessary bridges, which God has already given us the opportunity, because for centuries, the past four, five centuries, Igbo people had lived across the country.
“Yes! Don’t forget that Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe was born in Zungeru, in the present day Niger State. His father was Secretary to Lord Lugard – it’s on record.
“Chief Emeka Ojukwu was also born in Zungeru – so many of such people. That means we have in-laws and relations, who are not Igbos but related well with Igbos at that time.
“So, these are already bridges that are there naturally, which all we need to do is harness and we are able to produce President.
“However, if we don’t produce President, we can become a critical factor in Nigeria’s power equation.”
Okorie further explained that the Igbo were blessed with human and natural resources as well as a whole lot of functional networks that already exist in all nooks and crannies of the country.
According to him, they have the town unions, professional bodies, market associations, all over the country.
He said: “There is no town union or association in Igbo-land that does not have branches in all the major cities or communities, not just state capitals in Nigeria.
“Now, all that is required, therefore, is to start on time to sensitise and educate them on what they can do with their votes and to empower themselves where they are domiciled.”