Chkwuemeka Ezeife, a former governor of Anambra State, has said only a president of Igbo extraction can fix Nigeria.
He said this in an interview published by Sun on Sunday.
Ezeife was reacting to the influx of Almajirai to the south. He said a president of eastern extraction would invest in training youths and make them useful for the country.
He said the people of the region’s success in business can be used to the benefit of the country and in the training of youths for economic benefits.
“Talakawas and Almajarai, I think what they should pray for is Nigeria’s president of south-east origin. A president of Igbo origin will end Almajarai by effective training of the Almajarai for economic use,” he said.
“The same thing goes for the talakawas because in Igboland, everybody is equal to everybody. Everybody is free to pursue economic survival. Everybody is free to climb as fast as he can or to what extent they can.
“Therefore, if a president of Igbo origin is in place, this Almajiri business will disappear after a number of years. It is not months because it takes a long time to train somebody to be useful.
“I am sure every Nigerian knows that a Nigerian president of Igbo origin will fix Nigeria; make it grow and raise the dignity and respect of black people on earth because if you look at it, it is nothing to prove to any Nigerian. The person has to just go and look at Igbo people in his area and see whether they are making progress or retrogressing.
“We train people. And in this case, when you are the president of a whole country, you can’t allow some people to be poor and some people rich.”
He said it is pitiful that 40 per cent of Nigerians live below the poverty line. He said the south east was not among the poor regions until the civil war.
He said the region can transmit its enterprising nature to other parts of Nigeria and make it great again.
“So, we should be very, very ashamed that 40.1 per cent of our own Nigerians, black people, are living below poverty line. I don’t know what that means in terms of food and what a person eats a day.
“We shouldn’t allow that to be the case for long. I listened to one woman who was saying that Nigeria is a country where there is no government. I know that we have government.
“Whether they are effective is a different thing. You may remember that in the 1950s and early 60s, the World Bank said that parts of Nigeria were growing faster than the rest of the world.
“Obviously, it is only after the civil war that you can add any part of the east, Southeast, among those living below poverty line otherwise we are gifted by God and that gift of God we can spread it to every Nigerian,” he said.