The leaders, under the auspices of Mkpoko Igbo, lamented the unpleasant situation the Igbo have found themselves in the country, in the face of their alleged exclusion from the centre in recent years, and, therefore, maintained that the survival of Ndigbo in Nigeria depends on the actualisation of the Atiku/Obi presidency.
The summit held on Wednesday, November 14, 2015, at Nike Lake Resort Hotel, Enugu, with the theme: “Ndigbo 2019 and beyond,” and was chaired by elder statesman, Prof. Ben Nwabueze. The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, alongside other respected Igbo sons and daughters were also there.
Equally present were the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, Senator Ben Obi, Senator Chris Anyanwu, Chief Achike Udenwa, Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, Prof. Anya O. Anya, Chief Emeka Ugwu-Oji, Amb. Frank Ogbuewu, Amb. Lawrence Nwuruku, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Prof. A.B.C. Nwosu, Prof. Uche Azikwe, Amb. George Obiozor and former Ohanaeze president general, Chief Gary Igariwey.
A communiqué read by Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, stated that their support for the Atiku/Obi presidency was based on the restructuring agenda which the duo have put on the table, and which the four geopolitical zones of the country have already agreed on.
“The summit deliberated on the state of Ndigbo in Nigeria, today, espec ially after years of exclusion from the centre. This country has never been so divided, as it is today. We Igbo have always yearned for a level-playing field with justice, equity and fairness.
“It was acknowledged that this nomination puts Ndigbo back in the centre of governance. It is, therefore, important that Ndigbo should rally behind the Atiku/Obi ticket.”
In his address at the meeting, Prof Ben Nwabueze begged Ndigbo to ensure the victory of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in next year’s presidential election.
He said: “This is my last wish before I join my ancestors”.
“We want Nigeria to be united, but we have to survive first. Our campaigns and agitations are for our survival. The Atiku/Obi ticket is for the survival of Ndigbo. It is our determination to ensure its success by mobilising the entire Igbo to vote for them; and with their success, you would have done me the greatest honour.
He ended his remarks thus: “At my age, there is nothing any longer that I should pursue except the good of my people in Nigeria, and this is the path to it. Please do me the honour of that ticket before I answer my final call, and I will be happy. When you leave here, go back to your villages and communities and say to them that Ndigbo must survive in Nigeria, and the only way to ensure their survival is to deliver the Atiku/Obi ticket in 2019. I assure you I will rest in peace in my grave when this is done because it would have liberated Ndigbo.”