By Chijindu Emeruwa.
The nonpartisan umbrella body, United Igbo Elders and Stakeholders Forum (UIESAF) has thrown its support for the emergence of a president of Igbo extraction in the 2023 presidential elections.
This comes as the foremost Igbo forum, maintained that all major ethnic nationalities that help Nigeria to secure independence from the British had a shot at the Presidency, and also maintained that the continued denial of the Igbo nation the chances of producing a President for the country amounts to the great injustice of highest proportions.
The forum reiterated her position on the clarion call by the igbo nation, on the heels of the outcome of recently-concluded presidential primaries wherein the dominant political parties, the ruling All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party, failed to field Igbo men as candidates for the coming 2023 main elections in the country.
Justice Alfa Ikpeama, the national coordinator of the forum, in a statement issued to Journalists in Umuahia, the Abia state capital on Monday, also called on all well-meaning Nigerians to put aside ethnic and religious differences and give Igbo men a chance as they will not regret it.
Asked about the motives behind the formation of the United Igbo Elders and Stakeholders Forum, Justice Ikpeama, disclosed that the forum aims to provide an effective platform for transmitting progressive ideas to government at all levels and those in Leadership positions, adding that the forum is a non-profit,non-religious and non-governmental organization with no political affiliation and is duly empowered to form a common front and ideology for the good representation and quality Leadership in all Igbo communities in Nigeria.
He also pointed out that the vision and mission of the forum are to create a good and secure business environment in ‘Alaigbo’ and to build a community of elders and stakeholders of proven integrity who will be willing and ready to sacrifice their time, talent and treasures for the good of the ‘Ndigbo’.
His words: “the Forum has the mandate to work in close collaboration with ‘Ohaneze Nidgbo’, is given the Igbo Apex- Organization their honor to assume the status of ‘Igbo Union’ that was celebrated by all in the ’60s, with the sole intent of strengthening the bond of unity among Ndigbo and have a common front and ideology for good Leadership, welfare, and wellness of the people, community and society in Alaigbo,” justice Ikpeama stated.
The umbrella body also expressed worries about the disturbing gaps in spheres of leadership and followership in Igbo land and its negative impact on our society, coupled with the social, economic, political, and cultural values degeneration, adding that the Forum will serve as an advisory body proffering sound advise on matters affecting the stakeholders with a multi-disciplinary approach to problem-solving and for the good leadership in governance in Igbo nation and equally be a fountain for deep thinking and harvesting policies, programs, solutions that will help our young and Indigenous people, governance and society at large.
The forum whose members cut across all people of proven track records, tough-minded people, with strong will character, self-pride in all human endeavors, appointed Rev. John Iheukwumere as the coordinator of the forum in Abia state, pending when a proper Election will be held to elect Executives that will lead the Abia state chapter of the forum.