By Tunde Opalana, Abuja
Ahead of the 2023 presidential election, traditional rulers from Anambra state has said that only God can decide where Nigeria’s next President will come from.
This call contradicts the popular call by socio-cultural groups and personalities of Igbo extract clamouring that the South-East should produce the next President.
Addressing journalists after paying a courtesy visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential villa on Thursday, the royal fathers said they were not concerned where the next President comes from but would back anybody who is desirous of developing the South-East region.
Speaking on behalf of the team, His Royal Highness Igwe Chijioke Nwankwo, the Igwe of Nawfia said traditional rulers like other citizens are entitled to their views and opinions and not necessarily need to align with views of other persons or groups.
He said “Only God can decide who will be President in 2023. We do not care where the President comes from, whether North, East or West”
The traditional rulers insisted that zoning or geographical qualification should not be the basis for producing the next president but should be someone with the love for every part of the country without ethnic or religious biasness and is ready to evenly develop every part of Nigeria.
He said the traditional rulers were in Abuja to commend President Buhari for his developmental stride in the South-East and to ask for more infrastructural projects by the Buhari administration.
The royal fathers were grateful to the President for “the good things he has been doing for the South-East, appointing sons and daughters of Igbo extraction to key positions in his administration, the construction of the ongoing 2nd Niger Bridge, the Enugu/Onitsha expressway and the Enugu/Port – Harcourt road rehabilitation”, which they said have been neglected by past administrations.
They urged the President to do more while they promised continuous support to his government.
They dismissed unwarranted condemnation of their visit to Buhari by the Anambra state government.
He said “we see nothing wrong in our visit to the President. We have not wronged neither the state government nor the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe. The state government cannot deny us our right to freedom of speech and movement.
“We are not ashamed to be associated with President Buhari. The state government cannot attempt to intimidate us”.
The 12 traditional rulers led by business mogul Arthur Eze contended their suspension by the Anambra state government denied that their visit to Buhari was not politically motivated but they were concerned by the welfare of their subjects.