By Joy Mbachi
Awka, Jan. 4, 2019
Dr. Nwachukwu Anakwenze, the President-General of the Igbo World Assembly, says the group has resolved not to support presidential candidates, whose manifestos for the upcoming polls did not include the restructuring of the country.
Anakwenze said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Friday, adding that the decision was informed by the imperativeness of restructuring as a more pragmatic way to move Nigeria forward.
According to him, any presidential candidate who does not capture restructuring and devolution of power in his manifesto will lose the support of the group.
He said that the assembly, which is an umbrella body of all Igbo socio-cultural groups in Diaspora, believed that restructuring would help to solve the major challenges inhibiting the nation’s growth and development.
Anakwenze said, “We strongly believe in the restructuring and devolution of power in Nigeria. “We believe in the respect for the constitution, rule of law, human rights and the federal character.
He blamed the nation’s multiple challenges, including insecurity, corruption, unemployment, hunger, lack of industrialisation, abject poverty and violent crime, amongst others, on the alleged insensitivity of the nation’s successive political leaders.
He said that the group, which comprised Igbo socio-cultural groups in about 35 foreign countries, earnestly yearned for quality leadership and greater unity in Nigeria.
The group’s president said that members had continued to make substantial contributions and sacrifices in diverse ways toward putting the nation on the path of sustainable development.
“We shall stop at nothing to entrench quality leadership that would pursue programmes and policies that would foster greater unity and prosperity of Nigeria,” he said.
He said that the group seriously supported the enthronement of an egalitarian society, where all Nigerians would be treated fairly and equitably, irrespective of one’s tribe and religious beliefs.
Anakwenze, who is also the Traditional Prime Minister of Abagana in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure free, fair and credible electoral process.
He also admonished Nigerians to unite against election rigging and ensure that only credible and competent candidates were elected.
Anakwenze said the group had yet to adopt any political party ahead of the general elections.
He said that they were keenly watching the candidates to isolate the ones with the track record of discipline, accountability, responsibility and transparency.
“We want a leadership that would have a human face, being responsive to the feelings of the common masses, who they swore to defend.”