Anambra State-born billionaire, Arthur Eze, has said the Igbo must work with people of the North to achieve their dream of producing the next President of Nigeria in 2023.
In an interview with Vanguard, Eze claimed Igbo have benefitted more under President Muhammadu Buhari government.
He added that the president had become a hero in the zone for executing projects like Akanu Ibiam International Airport and the Second Niger Bridge.
Eze alleged that the South-East governors were diverting the money accruing to the local governments. He wondered how the rural populace would feel the impact of government.
“Listen, I don’t have any objections to that because only God can make anybody president. An Igbo person can become Nigeria’s president in 2023. However, for us to achieve that, we must work with the North. Again, we shall pray to God to find an Igbo man who has the character to help people,” he said.
“I would prefer someone who has a conscience; somebody who will remember the people. I don’t care where he or she comes from. During the time of President Jonathan, we had the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Pius Anyim (Igbo man). What did he do for Igbo people? He brought Julius Berger, and they tarred his road; the one leading to his house. All our roads were terrible. It is President Buhari that is tarring our streets now.
“Look at Enugu – Onitsha Road, Enugu – Port Harcourt Road, Second Niger Bridge. He went and modernised Zik’s grave. Did Jonathan do that? Do any of the South-East governors ask whether you eat or not? For example, in Anambra State, Dunukofia Local Government Area makes about N150 million every month.
“Has Governor Obiano built anything in Dunukofia? Has he brought any industry to Anambra? Tell me. Your children, where are they going tomorrow? Go to Yoruba land in Ogun; you will see industries. Go to Rivers, and you’ll see industries.
“I started politics when I was very young. My father was a member of the Eastern House of Chiefs during the time of Nnamdi Azikiwe and then Premier Okpara. I used to open doors for politicians whenever they came around, and my father never opposed any leader, be he Yoruba or Hausa. It is not in our blood.
“We preferred to live in peace with everybody. So, for the Igbo to be president, they must love themselves. We must learn from Nnamdi Azikiwe. Zik was a wise man. During his time, he built bridges with the North through the Sardauna of Sokoto and Tafawa Balewa.
“It is important that we emulate Zik at this point in our lives as a people. The seed of discord between the North and Ndigbo should be broken totally so that both regions can enjoy a harmonious relationship for the benefit of all.”
“Northerners love Igbo. Why I said so is because, after the civil war, when Igbo people’s properties were being seized in Rivers and other areas, northerners didn’t seize anything. They returned all Igbo properties, including money made from them. So, northerners are kind.”