Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, at the weekend, declared that re-electing President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 would fast-track the South East’s quest to produce President.
He said the zone would stand a good chance if it backs President Buhari in the next election, to be supported to produce the President, cautioning the zone against making fatal political mistake that will ruin its yearnings.
Mustapha stated this at a reception organized for the Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Affairs Office, Barr Georgina Ehuria by the former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu .
In attendance include the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, former governor of Ekiti State and All Progressives Congress (APC) Deputy National Chairman (South ), Engr. Segun Oni, former Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Chief Chuka Odom.
Responding to remarks made by Kalu, that Igbo have decided to give 75 percent votes to President Buhari if he decides to run for a second term in office, Mustapha said the South East will not regret voting massively for Buhari in 2019.
The SGF’s statement came barely a week after former President Olusegun Obasanjo wrote an 18-page letter to President Buhari, urging the president to take a deserving rest and not take a second shot at the presidency.
Continuing on the aspiration of the Igbo to produce President, he told Kalu “You made allusions to the fact that the South East would support Buhari. Let me confirm to you that for any thought of Igbo presidency, this is the shortest part. I have been in this game in the last 35, 37 years. I can attest to it. I know what it is, I know the permutations. I know what is on ground and I am an election manager.
“I know how you can commute, how you can fix the figures and how they come and arrive at the destination. And I can tell you without any fear, without any iota of doubt that the shortest path to an Igbo presidency is for Buhari to complete his tenure and now engage the Igbo nation in a decisive move”.
The immediate past Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) further said the presidency of Nigeria had always been obtained by negotiation.
Mustapha added that no single group can ascend to the presidency of Nigeria without negotiation, urging the Igbos to bring to bear, the entrepreneurial spirit of the Igbo man in navigating the way to the presidency of Nigeria.
“And I leave this with my Igbo brothers that the act of negotiation that you have perfected in dealing with merchandise, in dealing with commerce, in dealing with entrepreneurship, must be brought to bear on your navigating your way to the presidency of Nigeria,” Mustapha added.
The SGF also cited the diversity of the country, particularly his home state, Adamawa, where they speak various languages, adding that Nigeria was a complex society with diverse background.
He however said but in the case of the Igbos, they were fortunate to come from a geographical zone where only one language is used in communication.
“Nigeria is a complex society. We come from different diverse background. I come from a state called Adamawa. There are about 96 ethnic communities. We speak different distinct languages. You have an advantage. You speak only one language in all the five South Eastern states