The Igbo apex socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has said President Goodluck Jonathan can count on the support of the South-East, if he contests for a second term in 2015.
The National Publicity Secretary, Ohanaeze, Tony Oganah, told SUNDAY PUNCH that the people of the South-East were excited with Jonathan’s efforts at developing the region and would vote for him in 2015 like they did in 2011.
He said, “Let’s take first things first. President Jonathan has not told us that he wants to run for second term in 2015. What he does between now and 2015, will determine if Nigerians, not just the South-East, will support him. But for us, he has done well so far and he can count on the support of the South-East.
“The only problem is that from day one, certain people decided to make the country ungovernable for him and they seem to have been succeeding at that. Since security is central to governance and development, the insecurity that these people have caused has given Jonathan little time and resources to focus on other areas of development.”
Oganah, who was responding to Jonathan’s claim that his strongest support was from the South-East, said the President had done well by initiating some developmental projects in the South-East, aimed at giving the Igbo a level playing field in the country.
“We are excited with what Jonathan has done so far in the South-East. Some roads are opening up, the Onitsha Port is on course and the second Niger Bridge is also on course. We are happy because Igbo people are entrepreneurial; all we need is a level playing field. If all these projects are actualised, the Igbo will be happy to support Jonathan for second term,” he said.
He said as far as the Igbo were concerned, the successor of Jonathan either in 2015 or 2019 must be from the South-East, adding that all the other ethnic groups had had their turn at the presidency.
Oganah said, “It is unfair that since Independence the only time an Igbo, Aguiyi Ironsi, had the chance to rule this country, it lasted for only six months. We know that six months is hardly enough for anybody to achieve anything.”