A former Imo State governor, Senator Rochas Okorocha, on Saturday said the South-East zone too should be allowed to produce a president in 2023 since other zones of Nigeria have already produced presidents.
He, however, said irrespective of the ethnicity of the country’s next president, what was more important was to have someone who could solve the problem of poverty and other societal ills.
Okorocha said this in an interview with journalists in Bauchi, Bauchi State capital, shortly after receiving an award by the Tijjaniniya Islamic Sect during its Maulud celebration.
He said, “Presidency of Igbo extraction is rather to give everyone a sense of belonging…What I propose is a Nigerian president who will guarantee the unity of this nation, irrespective of religion or tribe, a Nigerian president who will alleviate poverty, a Nigerian president who will make education available and affordable for everybody.
“This is what we should be talking about more importantly. But the issue of having a president of Igbo extraction, for me, is more like a competition.
“The North has produced president, likewise the South-West and South-South. Let us see what Nigeria would look like when the South-East also produces a president.”
Okorocha, however, said ethnicity was not the main factor in producing the president. He stated “If you have a president and yet, the people are hungry and suffering, of what use is that? The presidency is not just about the title; it’s about doing the job.”
Speaking on the almajiri system in the North, the former governor, who represents Imo West Senatorial District in the Senate, said the best way to tackle the problem in the system was to combine Arabic education with the conventional educational system.
“I am in Bauchi on the invitation of Sheik Usman Dahiru Bauchi, who invited me for this year’s Maulud. I was given an award as Sarkin Yakin Talakawa by the Tijjaniniya and also the Garkwuwan almajairi (Ambassador of almajirai), and I think it has to do with my passionate appeal that the lives of the almajirai should be made better in this country,” he said.