Arewa Progressive Front, a political pressure group based in the north, has said the only Igbo politician who deserves their vote for 2023 Presidency is former Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha.
The group claimed that Okorocha, senator representing Imo West, has proven long before joining politics that he is a nationalist who loves the country and cares about the ordinary people.
Ahmed Bawa, spokesperson of the group, while addressing journalists in Abuja on Thursday, stated that if the South-east is serious about producing the next President, the region should rally round Okorocha instead of trying to bring him down.
Bawa stressed that the lawmaker has pursued a united Nigeria before he joined partisan politics, hence their confidence in his capacity to strengthen “the unity of Nigeria and champion the cause of socioeconomic growth and development”.
The group also condemned what it called “campaign of calumny against the former governor” in Imo.
“If Igbo must make any cogent push for Nigerian presidency, then, they must be ready to project their best and most acceptable leaders. We are aware of campaign of calumny against the former governor, especially from his state, Imo state, but we are more comfortable with him than any other Igbo politician”, he said.
“No politician of Igbo extraction has assisted the North to solve the major challenge of out-of-school children as much as Okorocha has done through his free education programme. We have the records and the North will not ignore such huge investments. Okorocha is most widely accepted candidate from the pool of Igbo politicians eyeing the Presidential seat”.
Bawa, who is also a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), advised key Igbo groups and stakeholders to unite behind Okorocha in order to enhance the chances of an Igbo man succeeding President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
“Igbo need to bury their political differences and pursue this project with a common front, else they may as well perish the thought of making an Igbo man President in 2023.
“When you look at the potentials of aspirants for the presidency from the Southeast or the entire Igboland, none of them can boast of the kind of acceptability enjoy by Senator Okorocha. His free education, long standing affinity with the North and his visible human capital investments across the length and breadth of Nigeria cannot be rivaled by any of those aspiring for the presidency from among the Igbo,” he stated.