Igbo Presidency come 2023 is possible and feasible, the apex sociocultural organisation in Igbo land, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, has said.
This is as the apex Igbo body said any attempt to scuttle the 2023 Igbo Presidential project on the altar of Biafra agitation in the region was not only devilish, but also wicked.
The factional Secretary-General of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Okechukwu Isiguzuro, stated this in an interview with our Correspondent in Abakaliki, on Sunday.
According him, “2023 Igbo Presidency is very feasible and any attempts to derail the project anchoring it on the activities of the secessionist agitations in South-East is not only devilish, but mischievously wicked.
“The expectation of Igbo to achieve the desired results of having an Igbo succeed President Buhari in 2023 is ongoing.
“The only way to end the secessionist movements and stop them from armed struggle is for the Federal Government to opt for a political solution to the problem of Biafra agitations, which Igbo Presidency is one of it. A Nigerian President of Igbo extraction will end the activities of IPOB.
“Secondly, there are ongoing talks with the Northern Elders and the Arewa chieftains, especially the youths. We believe that the discussions through sincere engagements will change the Northern fears over 2023 Igbo Presidency.
“The major political parties are the targets for Ndigbo to achieve this project; there are backstage activities ongoing that will justify the end of the process of making Igbo realise the 2023 Presidency.
“No politician has openly declared interest in the 2023 Presidency, except former Senate President, Puis Anyim and chairman of Nigeria Pharmaceutical Association, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa and that’s in PDP. We are expecting the likes of Senator Rochas Okorocha, Chibuike Amaechi, and others in APC to join the race by 2022 first quarter.
“One of the practical steps to be taken seriously is the engagement of the other sections of the country especially the North. We are building up a new alliance with the North, but definitely, we will achieve this lofty position through building consensus and confidence.”
Meanwhile, the Federal Government through the Ministry of Water Resources got N9.9bn from the N2.3tn COVID-19 intervention fund to implement the ‘wash programme’ which involves water sanitation and health projects.
This is just as N94bn was disbursed for youth empowerment and job creation.
These details were revealed by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning in response to a Freedom of Information request sent to the ministry by human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN).
The document titled, ‘Re: Request for Information on Utilisation of the Sum of N1.5tn Spent by the Federal Government of Nigeria on Managing the Effect of COVID-19,’ was signed by the Director, National Monitoring and Evaluation at the ministry, Dr Zakari Lawal.
The document showed that in June 2020, the Federal Executive Council approved a N2.3tn stimulus plan proposed in the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan designed to support the nation’s economy to mitigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
N500bn was to be disbursed to ministries, departments and agencies, while the balance was to be disbursed to the private sector by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The document showed that out of the N2.3tn, about N1.9tn had been disbursed.
While N94bn was released for youth engagement and job creation, health equipment and related issues gulped N128.5bn.
The Ministry of Youth and Sport Development got N690m to train 150 youths to become agro-technicians and 150 youths to become solar technicians.
The ministry also got N2bn to train 1,600 youths to become digital professionals and N1.1bn to provide 2,700 youths with work experience.
The sum of N1.5bn was released to the ministry to build six ICT centres in Kano, Bauchi, Plateau, Anambra, Cross River, Osun and 24 vocational centres nationwide.
The international Centre for Women Development, under the Ministry Of Women Affairs, got N250m for a job creation scheme post-COVID-19. It also got N1bn for job creation scheme post-COVID-19: Equipment for vocational skills training in the six geopolitical zones.
The Ministry Of Communications and Digital Economy received N1bn for job creation scheme post-COVID-19: Entrepreneurship and vocational training in the six geopolitical zones to support digital skills gaps and provision of subsidised training for qualified candidates across the country.
The Federal Government also released N2bn to the communications ministry for the job creation scheme post-COVID-19: Establishment of centres of excellence and labs for robotic, 3-D printing, IoT, big data analytics and block chain.
The National Directorate of Employment got N52bn to engage youths and for business training.
The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development was given N32.5bn to provide a social intervention programme.
The Ministry of Health got N1bn for surveillance and epidemiology; N10.2bn for laboratory; N310.4m for point of entry; N133.6m for infection prevention and control; N1.8bn for case management; N89m for health-related communication; and N75m for research and development.
It also got N6.5bn for NCDC, N10bn to support Lagos State, 1bn to support pharmaceutical industries for raw materials not used, N20bn for hazard allowance, N2.5bn for contingencies, N10bn for food and drug services and local production of vaccines.
As an extension of the support provided to health care in the country, the sum of N18.4bn was disbursed across 52 federal teaching hospitals and federal medical centres to equip 10-bedded intensive care units.
The 52 health centres received N5.2bn to equip isolation treatment centres; N7.8bn to procure personal protective equipment for all federal tertiary health institutions; and N18bn to procure molecular laboratory equipment.
The sum of N2b each was released for reagents and equipment for COVID-19 related laboratory services to the national agency for food and drug administration, Nigerian institute of medical research, national institute for pharmaceutical research and development, and Nigeria centre for disease control.
The National Agency for Food and Drug Control also got another N2bn to upgrade laboratory testing of vaccines; the Federal Fire Service received N1.5bn for provision of COVID-19 kits and other medical equipment, the national correctional service got N951.1m for rehabilitation, provision, and maintenance of health facilities and correctional services revamps in six geopolitical zones.
Reports with PUNCH