Former lawmaker, Abdulmumin Jibrin, says the best hope for a future Igbo president in Nigeria is for the southeast region to support former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu, to win the 2023 presidential election.
The election that will decide President Muhammadu Buhari’s replacement is expected to favour a candidate from the south, based on an unwritten agreement to rotate power between the north and south.
Politicians from the southeast, home to Igbos, have clamoured that the position be specifically zoned to the sub-region as it’s not produced a president or vice president since the return of democracy in 1999.
Jibrin, a campaigner for Tinubu’s 2023 ambition, said in an interview with Arise News that the region has failed to play the right politics to position them, and would have to wait for longer.
He said, “While the southwest were strategising to come to the centre, the southeast were shifting back to regional politics.
“They will have to put a bit of effort to get to the centre in terms of the overall nature of the politics they’re playing.”
The All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain further noted that southeastern politicians must demonstrate that they’re really interested in the presidency.
He said many of them have failed to push hard for the presidency even in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where they’re more dominant.
The 45-year-old said 2023 is an opportunity for southeasterners to build a new strategy and support Tinubu to win.
“It is the best opportunity they have in the future to have the presidency. He (Tinubu) is a man of his word.
“I call on the southeast to join the Bola Tinubu tsunami and it is your best chance to have the presidency in the future,” he said.
Tinubu told President Buhari this week he will contest in the election, describing the presidency as his lifelong dream.
Jibrin said he has no doubt the former governor will clinch the APC’s ticket and win next year’s election.
“He’s knowledgeable, understands the economy and politics of the country, knows the people, has a large heart, and is not a religious fanatic, or ethnic jingoist.
“We’re going to have a president that will be able to continue from where President Buhari stops, and build the country of our dreams,” he said.
He also remarked that quality leadership is not a function of age, a pushback against the clamour for Nigerians not to elect another leader in his 70s.