An array of potential presidential aspirants stormed the United States to lobby support for election of a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction in 2023, a move similar to the global campaign undertaken by members of All Progressives Congress, APC, prior to 2015 presidential election.
At an event held in Washington, D.C. on January 10, and attended by a broad spectrum of academic, political and economic leaders, there was a consensus that zoning helped sustain stability in Nigeria's nascent democracy.
Among the attendees was 2019 APC presidential aspirant, now a stalwart of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Charles Udeogaranya.
The PDP stalwart stated that the group was in the United States "to make a strong case for power rotation to the South and this time, the South-East zone, at the expiration of President Muhammadu Buhari's tenure in 2023. It is imperative this standing rotation agreement is adhered to, as it will help promote peace, unity, equity and progress in Africa's most populous nation."
On his part, from the ruling APC is a primary challenger to President Buhari in 2019, Dr. SKC Ogbonnia, who highlighted the logic and the necessity of zoning the presidency to the South-East zone, but also argued that "what is most critical to the masses at this stage is for the international community, particularly the US, to lend their support to a growing democratic, legal and non-violent revolution to uproot the status quo perpetuated by the Nigeria's corrupt cabal, in order to enable good people to be elected to office."
In his contribution, former Executive Director of Nigerian-American Council, Dr. Okey Mbonu, 2019 presidential aspirant on the platform of Labour Party, stated that "the world must bear witness that equity should prevail in Nigeria in 2023, anything less is likely to provoke an unimaginable crisis in Nigeria."
The American audience was concerned about an undertone that Igbo people are denied power due to their Christian faith.
This prompted Bob Williams, an oil and gas investor, to say "while it is pertinent to note that the US does not usually interfere with internal affairs of sovereign nations, there are always exceptions where people are seen to be persecuted because of their religious beliefs."