Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Dr. Samuel Uche, on Monday told President Muhammadu Buhari that it is the turn of South-East geopolitical zone to produce the next President of the country in 2023, if he wants to enthrone justice and equity.
He said the Igbo led the fight for the independence of Nigeria and have been completely unfairly treated in the scheme of things.
Uche, who was on Episcopal visit to Ebonyi State, made the call during a courtesy call on Governor of David Umahi at the Executive Council Chambers, Government House Abakaliki.
He is the first person of Igbo extraction to be elevated to the Prelate position of the Methodist Church of Nigeria since its creation in 1842 – some 177 years ago.
He regretted that the Igbo has suffered great marginalisation in the country and called on the federal government to address it if it must make meaningful progress.
The Prelate said: “They have been marginalising us, telling us we are terrorist, we are this, we are this. But there are some of us who are decent Igbo people who have been helping this government. So, they should not stigmatise us and say every Igbo people is bad.
“If they want Nigeria to progress, the Igbo man must be brought to the centre of governance. We championed the independence of this country.
“How can we get the independence and then they will dump us? It’s unfair. So they should bring us to the centre of their administration and they should consider us in the scheme of things.
“I am not happy that none of us is one of the service chiefs; no of us is in the police force, immigration, DSS, Army and many things. So, Federal Government should recognise the Igbo man if they want this country to have peace and progress.
“After this present administration in the country by the North West, naturally, fairly, power should come to southeast because South-South has produced the Presidency through Goodluck Jonathan who has governed the country and who hails from the area.
“South-West has also produced the presidency through Obasanjo who comes from that zone, he governed for eight years. If we want to enthrone justice and equity, the next leader of the country should come from South-East.”
Dr. Uche however expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of some Governors of South-East extraction, saying that he is ashamed of some Governors in the region who have not performed to the expectation of the masses.
He expressed joy over the rapid transformation of Ebonyi State under Umahi’s watch, especially in empowering the people including clerics in the state, pointing out that Umahi’s performance outweighs those of other South-East governors.
In a remark, Umahi, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Kelechi Igwe, described the prelate’s apostolic visit as a blessing to Ebonyi State.