A pro-democracy group based in Southeast Nigeria; Youth Initiative for grassroots Development has adopted the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovations, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, as their preferred candidate for the President of Nigeria in 2023 on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC).
The group described Dr Onu as the most qualified person to succeed President Buhari in 2023 and called on him to declare an interest, assuring that they would mobilize people in all parts of the country to ensure his victory at the polls.
Speaking through the National Coordinator, Vincent Ekuma, the noted that Onu’s antecedents, achievements, stake in the ruling APC, his personality, belief in a united Nigeria and wide acceptance across the country makes him the best to takeover from Buhari.
The group said, “As members of Youth Initiative for Grassroots Development, we have assessed all those who have indicated interest to contest for Nigeria President in 2023 especially in Southeast; our findings revealed that the best man for the next President of Nigeria is Dr Ogbonnaya Onu.
“He is the best and most reliable politician in South-East Nigeria. A man free from corruption and believes that politics could be practised devoid of monetary settlement. Onu is the only man in Igbo land who believes that everyone should maintain his political party, whether being in a ruling party or opposition.
“Dr Ogbonnaya Onu is one politician who believes that failing in an election does not call for decamping to another party. He is the only man who accepts failure in election and believes that tomorrow will be better.
“This is a man who believes that what was discussed could be maintained to avoid political conflict of any sort capable of taking the lives of our poor youths. That man is who Nigeria needs now and we want him to come out to contest and win.
“With all that we know about Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, we are calling on him to make himself available to contest on the platform of APC. He is the only man considered worthy and capable of handling Igbo presidency due to his background. The best-educated man among Igbo politicians, I mean, true education and not buying of certificates which is prevalent now among most politicians.
“We have no doubt that If APC gives Dr Onu their 2023 Presidential ticket, it would be a round peg in a round hole because he is eminently qualified, he was once a Governor, he is free from corruption, he is a founding member of APC and he understands deeply the problems of Nigeria and how best to solve it.
“For those who may not know this, in 1999, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu won the presidential ticket of the All People’s Party (APP), one of the two national parties then in Nigeria. He later handed over the ticket to Chief Olu Falaye of the AD, so that Falae would have a big and national platform to run for president, with the APP and AD pulling forces together.
“As of then, all the six states of the Southwest were controlled by the AD, and Falaye was seen as the true choice of the Southwest. But AD could not win any other state outside the Southwest, and that was seen as a handicap against Falaye’s presidential ambition as the preferred candidate of the Southwest.
“Dr Onu and APP did that for the sake of justice, equity and fairness – to compensate the South-West for the grave injustice IBB and Abacha did to Chief MKO Abiola over the annulled June 12 election was clear Abiola won.
“So we are now saying that If there were justice and equity in this world, all the South-West members of the APC should with one voice, endorse Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, who is the current Minister of Science and Technology and a founding and committed member of the APC, as their sole candidate for the APC for the 2023 presidential election.”
The Group Coordinator, however, traced the merger of the three major political parties that formed APC, insisting that Buhari and Tinubu have taken their fair share and 2023 is the turn of Dr Onu to mount the seat of Nigeria president under APC.
“We all know how APC started. His Excellency Dr Ogbonnaya Onu was in charge of ANPP, Tinubu was in charge of ACN while Buhari was for CNPP. Now, Buhari is serving for eight years as President. Tinubu through Osibanjo is serving as Vice President and had also been given the chance to produce the party’s national chairman and other key positions.
“Therefore, for the sake of justice, fairness and equity in 2023, the baton of the party’s presidential ticket should pass to Dr Onu who is one of the founding fathers of the Party, and incidentally from the Southeast who from all indications should produce the next president of Nigeria.
“All we are saying as Youth Initiative for Grassroots Development is that if Southeast will produce Nigeria President in 2023 under APC, it must be Dr Ogbonnaya Onu and we are ready to mobilize support across South-East and other parts of Nigeria,” Ekuma concluded.